THOUSANDS of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Hong Kong and Macau are now allowed to return to their jobs after the Philippine government partially lifted the travel restrictions it imposed on visitors from China’s Special Administrative Regions as protective measure amid the novel coronavirus health threat, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said OFWs returning to work in Hong Kong and Macau have been exempted from the travel bound.
“(Health) Secretary (Francisco) Duque (3rd) confirmed that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has decided to lift the travel ban of the overseas workers going to Macau and Hong Kong,” Panelo said during a chance interview.
“And according to him, those OFWs going back will have to make a written declaration that they know the risk of going back to their places of work. That is limited only to OFWs,” he added.
Thousands of OFWs bound for Hong Kong and Macau were left stranded in the Philippines after President Rodrigo Duterte on February 2 imposed a travel ban to China and its special administrative regions.
There are over 210,000 Filipinos working in Hong Kong and 32,000 in Macau. CATHERINE S. VALENTE