It is one thing to protect the health of individuals and communities; it is another to make the process harder and longer than necessary because of incompetence and neglect of duty. The latter is already unfair punishment.”

This according to John Bertiz, Chairman of ACTS-OFW Party-list, when the truth about the overextended periods of quarantine came out during a recent congressional hearing.

“It is laudable that the government is open to using technology to ease the burden of our OFWs.”

Bertiz, a former party-list representative representing OFWs, said:  “The lack of administrative personnel to produce the hard copies of the certificates stating that an OFW can already be released from quarantine in a government-accredited facility is not acceptable or justifiable.”

The former congressman added: “Our OFWs have been forced to go back to the country because they lost their jobs abroad. We should not add insult to injury by forcibly depriving them of their right to return to their residences beyond the period required by the pandemic guidelines.”

In the same hearing, it was disclosed that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will resort to online publication of test results so that the OFWs themselves can print their respective certificates.

“It is laudable that the government is open to using technology to ease the burden of our OFWs, but of course it remains to be seen whether or not this new automated system will be implemented immediately. We shall therefore remain vigilant and will continue to ensure the protection of the rights and the promotion of the welfare of our OFWs,” Bertiz concluded.

ACTS-OFW Party-list is a coalition composed of both land-based and sea-based OFW organizations worldwide.


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