Buhay OFW

Experiences of Non-OFWs returning to the Philippines

While overseas Filipino workers (OFW) returning to the Philippines have enjoyed full government assistance, many non-OFWs who have been stranded in Thailand such as tourists, missionaries, student trainees (OJTs) and workers who do not have work permits have to pay for their hotel accommodation, food and transportation back to their home provinces. 

Here are some of their sentiments:

Cheapest hotel accommodation costs 1,200 PHP per day not including food. Full course meal is 600 PHP per day (200 per meal). 

Those who stayed at SOGO (July 16 chartered flight from Bangkok) said the hotel was also full and accepted short time guests only. The hotel was not exclusive for those undergoing quarantine. Customers come and go.

There was one room at SOGO that has a hole where a Pakistani citizen had been harassing a pinay returnee (22 yrs old). The hole was sealed after three (3 days).

There was NO DOT coordinator assigned at SOGO. This is based from Filipinos who arrived from Bangkok on July 16.

Delayed SWAB test results. One of them called the Red Cross and was told to wait for at least seven (7) working days. The previous returnees received their SWAB test results on their third day. After posting their sentiments on social media, some were able to receive their SWAB test within the day.

Another kababayan called Philippine Coast Guard only to be told that they’re only assisting OFWs.

Eight (8) non-OFWs and 1 child luckily got free quarantine at a government facility on July 16. They had to sleep and stay overnight at the airport. Luckily they were noticed by a MIA officer who helped them get free quarantine accommodation. There may be some others.

Many of them paid for their transportation back to their home provinces. They will be quarantined again depending on the policy of their local government unit. 

Meanwhile, some non-OFWs who got their SWAB test results earlier got free transportation sponsored by OWWA.

Filipino tourists (non-OFW) who are joining the flight are given the option of paying for their own or availing government funded facilities. Non-OFWs are also advised to be ready with their finances in case government funded facilities are full.

For those who have overstayed (OS), please prepare for the fine (20,000 THB maximum) at the airport. Embassy officials will be there to assist. Otherwise overstayers will be denied boarding and might face detention.

UPDATE: The fourth Special Chartered Flight from Bangkok to Manila has been moved to 27 July 2020 (Monday) in the evening. More details at https://bit.ly/3jvYHXE 

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