BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
Seventy-four overseas Filipino workers arrived in Negros Occidental last night as cases of coronavirus disease continue to rise in Bacolod City and the province.
The Department of Health in Region 6 reported that Bacolod City has 86 new Covid positive cases with five deaths, while Negros Occidental has 73 new cases and three deaths yesterday.
The returning OFWs took the Manila-Tacloban-Bacolod-Manila route that was facilitated by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Himelie Fernandez, chief air traffic controller of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines in Bacolod City, said.
She said the sweeper flight has no outbound passengers when it returned to Manila.
Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian, Covid-19 Provincial Incident Management Team commander, said 70 passengers are from the province, while the remaining four are from Bacolod.
He said the returning OFWs will be quarantined in the government facilities of their respective hometowns.
As of this writing, Caelian said some of the returning Negrenses were still at the airport as there are no more available hotels, and some local government units could not easily deploy their teams since they are far from Silay.
“We’re lobbying to OWWA to set up a temporary waiting area so the returning Negrenses could rest there while waiting for their LGUs to pick them up,” he said.
He said they are only given the manifest after all the passengers have boarded the plane. “That is the only time we would know if how many passengers are coming, and we would only know their hometowns after they arrived at the airport,” he added.
This is why it would take time for other LGUs, especially those that are far, to pick up their constituents at the airport, he said.*