OWWA will limit free hotels and transportation benefits for OFWs

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STARTING next month, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will limit the number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who will be eligible for its free transportation and housing assistance.

Among those still qualified for these services are distressed OFWs who are certified by Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) or assessed by OWWA airport officers.

OFWs returning to the country through government-initiated mass repatriation flights or OFWs receiving air tickets from POLO through commercial flights must also continue to receive transportation and accommodation.

In the case of partially or unvaccinated OFWs who are required to undergo mandatory facility quarantine, they will still be housed by OWWA.

However, they would have to pay for transportation back to their home province.

The new policy was announced by OWWA Administrator Hans J. Cacdac in a notice released Tuesday.

He said they have decided on their global coverage of their free transport and accommodation services due to the implementation of Alert Level 1 in most parts of the country.

Under Alert Level 1, businesses and public transport are allowed to operate at full capacity.

“Therefore, transportation and accommodation assistance for returning overseas Filipino workers will be suspended effective June 1, 2022,” Cacdac said.

He said among their services to be suspended next month are their OWWA chartered buses at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) and OWWA sweep flights at Terminal 2 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the OWWA has provided transportation and accommodation services to over one million OFWs.

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