More than 100 OFW applicants who are waiting for a flight back to their provinces spent their night outside the departure gate of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2.
These applicants rushed to NAIA when they heard that there were flights back to Mindanao but unfortunately, they came late.
They had no choice but to spend the rest of the night outside the terminal.
These applicants were caught in the lockdown due to COVID-19. For this reason, they were not able to finish processing their papers and were not able to fly to their job destinations.
For the past weeks, these OFW applicants have been staying at the accommodations provided by their respective agencies.
However, in an interview with ABS-CBN, Melissa Banaag, an OFW applicant said that their agency cannot support them anymore.
“Wala na pong kameng ano dun sa accommodation, pinapauwi na po kame ng agency. Wala na daw sila mapakain,” Banaag said.
Photos of this situation circulated online that’s why the netizens expressed their dismay in the authorities.
They called out Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for being irresponsible. They also blamed OWWA Deputy Administrator Mocha Uson for being so “chill” despite the condition of these OFWs.
Bakit po sila pinababayaan ng ganyan, akala ko responsibility yan ng owwa. Ito yong tipo mahahawaan ng Covid-19 at magdadala sa probinsya ng sakit na ito. Ano na BPP?
— ben garcia (@twit_me_always) June 3, 2020
INUNA NIYO PA YUNG BILL NA IPASA KESA SA PROBLEMA NG BANSA TULUNGAN NIYO MUNA MGA OFW NA STRANDED AT NAWALAN NG HANAPBUHAY AYUSIN NIYO MUNA DAPAT AYUDA NIYO PARA SA OFW PINAPAASA NIYO MGA OFW SILA NAMAN GINAGATASAN NIYO #JUNKTERRORBILLNOW
— Rhea (@eyaanggg) June 4, 2020
Yung mga ofw na stranded kumusta na? Balita ko nag kanya kanyang labas na lang ng pera para matest sila. Owwa galaw galaw naman.
— DN (@DN55904803) June 3, 2020
Hoy @MochaUson ang daming OFW na stranded sa NAIA tangina mo inuuna mo pa pagtweet. MAGTRABAHO KA.
— Jon Snow (@greenalter10) June 4, 2020
Nasaan na at anong tulong ang maibigay ni Mocha? Balita natuloy ng ganito sa labas ng NAIA ang kawawang mga OFW?
— Maria Rita Habalo (@HabaloRita) June 4, 2020
— Joseph Marzan #MalayangPamamahayag (@josephbamarzan) June 4, 2020
Meanwhile, OWWA clarifies that OFW applicants are not covered by the agency. But, they are willing to help these stranded applicants go back to their respective provinces.
Hans Cacdac, OWWA administrator, said that the recruitment agencies of these applicants will also be held accountable for this situation. OWWA will file a complaint with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA).
“Mag-aarrange kami ng flight sa kanila kahit wala kaming obligasyon na bayaran yung flight nila kasi ang pondo ng OWWA, para sa mga OFW. For me this is human trafficking,” Cacdac said.
“Kaya we will charge them for violating their obligation as a recruitment agency. they should be taking care of their applicants,” Cacdac added.