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Returning Negrense OFWs surge

BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

*Capitol photo

Negros Occidental and Bacolod City were faced with a surge of more than 1,000 returning overseas Filipino workers over the weekend.

The influx of returning OFWs began Saturday when a two-week moratorium on their return to Negros Occidental ended, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Region 6 director, Rizza Moldes, said yesterday.

A daily sweeper flight carrying Negrense locally stranded individuals is expected to arrive at the Bacolod Silay Airport starting today, Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian, Provincial Disaster Management Program Division chief, also said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Moldes said seven sweeper flights landed at the Bacolod Silay Airport carrying 1,178 returning OFWs, of which 393 are Bacolod residents and 785 are from Negros Occidental, Saturday and yesterday.

She said more OFWs were also expected on another flight last night.

Caelian said Negros Occidental only had 580 standby hotel rooms for the returning OFWs and was overwhelmed by the number that arrived during the weekend as they had not been informed before their arrival.

Lt. Commander Jansen Benjamin, PCG-Negros Occidental provincial commander, said a 2Go vessel carrying returning Negrenses is also set to arrive today.*

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