Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has given his government a week to process some 24,000 repatriated Filipino workers stuck for weeks on cruise ships or in coronavirus quarantine, so they can finally go home.
Thousands are aboard some 29 vessels off Manila Bay or stuck in hotels and crowded health facilities, some growing frustrated having tested negative for the coronavirus and completed the mandated 14-day quarantine.
Overseas Filipino Workers, or OFWs, are breadwinners and a key support base of Duterte. Their more than $30 billion of annual remittances is a key driver of the Philippine economy, supporting millions of family members.
“The president said they can use all government resources and whatever means of transportation – bus, airplane, ships – to bring the OFWs home,” Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said on Monday.
Al Jazeera News