‘We were not informed on returning OFWs’

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson lamented Monday that he was not informed about the repatriation of stranded Negrense Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are set to arrive here today, April 28.

“We were not informed,” Lacson said.

Negros Occidental Coastguard chief, Lt. Commander Jansen Benjamin confirmed to Daily Guardian that 58 Bacolod and 44 Negrense OFWs will arrive today on board a ship from Manila.

They should have afforded us some respect, Lacson lamented.

He said that he and Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia were surprised upon learning of the repatriation of the OFWs.

“The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) nor the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) did not inform us,” Lacson added.

The governor said they learned about the repatriation through the group chat of a group of seafarers.

“It is not just simply to let them go home, when they arrive here who will fetch them? Will they just be allowed to go directly to their respective homes?”

Lacson said there is also the concern on the quarantine facility for the OFWs.

“We have to prepare for a place for them,” he said.

Earlier, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia asked the national Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATFMEID) for proper coordination in the repatriation of stranded Bacoleños and Negrenses.