TACLOBAN CITY, May 26 (PIA) -- Some 143 OFW repatriates arrived from Manila past 6 o'clock in the evening today via Air Asia.
This makes the total number of OFW repatriates from Manila who arrived since May 25 to 524.
All the repatriates observed health protocols such as wearing of facemasks. Social Distancing was also observed as there were physical distancing markers painted on the floor.
Before entering the terminals, their temperatures were taken and disinfecting was conducted by way of foot bath and hand sanitizers.
Markers for physical distancing are also found at the terminal where the repatriates queued to get their baggages.
After getting their belongings, they went out to the terminal lobby where tables marked for the city of Tacloban, Ormoc and the six provinces of Eastern Visayas with OWWA staff and DILG staff were waiting to register the arriving repatriates. The PNP and AFP were there to provide security.
Also present at the airport was an LTFRB staff to ensure that buses that will take the repatriates to the different provinces.
OCD-8 representatives were there while PIA-8 led by PIA Dir. Olive Tiu was there to cover and document the process of welcoming the OFW repatriates.
The City of Tacloban put quarantine tags on the repatriates from Tacloban. It was learned that they will return to their respective barangays and undergo 14-day home quarantine.
The LGUs of Leyte will fetch their OFWs at the airport it was learned, while the others will be brought to the provincial capitols where their LGUs will fetch them.
Before they boarded the assigned buses, right after registration, the repatriates were given packed meals.
The OFWs expressed gratitude for arriving safely. As one Mr. Ruben from Baybay City disclosed, they were half-way to Tacloban when it was announced that they needed to return to Manila.
"It was good the passengers did not panic," Mr. Ruben ,who came from Jacksonville, Florida, said. When they reached airport in Manila, they changed plane.
Mr. Ruben said he was employed in a shipping company but the staff were made to go home by their employer. Ruben disclosed the employer said they will be called back before the end of June but he doubts if that will push through.
He expressed gratitude to the government for taking care of them. "The government did not abandon us," he said.
The same sentiment was echoed by Mr. Lao from Tacloban City. For seven years was a crew of the Princess cruise ship which docked for two months at the Manila Bay. On May 20, they were made to disembark and billeted at a very good hotel in Manila, Lao said.
Many of the OFWs shared the same expression of gratitude to the government. (PIA-8)