DOLE reports almost 100-K OFWs stranded worldwide

Published by rudy Date posted on May 31, 2020

By Leslie Ann Aquino, Manila Bulletin, 31 May 2020

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Sunday (May 31) that there are nearly 100,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded around the world, the majority of whom are in the Middle East.

The Labor department said the stranded OFWs were either affected by lockdowns in their respective host countries, are distressed and seeking to be repatriated, or those whose work contracts have expired but cannot return to the Philippines due to the absence of commercial flights.

The DOLE command center in Manila said based on data from Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs), as of Friday (May 29) there was a total of 98,615 stranded OFWs: 83,483 in the Middle East, 12,050 in Europe and the Americas,, and 3,082 in Asian countries.

“Most OFWs from the Middle East are land-based, totaling 83,380, while those in Europe-Americas are mostly sea-based workers numbering 11,372,” said DOLE in a statement. “[Of] those [in] Asian countries, 2,110 are mostly land-based with the remaining sea-based workers.”

The Labor department said of the total stranded OFWs, 19,631 have unfinished contracts or are distressed and need repatriation in the coming weeks: 11,000 of them in the Middle East, and close to 6,500 in Europe and the Americas.

DOLE said the POLOs have so far recorded the repatriation of 36,625 OFWs since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Earlier, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said more than 40,000 OFWs are expected to be returning to the country until June.

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