The number of arrivals of returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) in the Caraga Region is expected to increase starting this month as the Yuletide season nears, an official of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA-13) in the region said.
“ROFs come home in huge number from November to the early part of December each year. Despite the Covid-19 threats, we are expecting the same number of arrivals this year here in Caraga,” Anne Jane Hallasgo, the OWWA-13 labor communications officer, told the Philippine News Agency Wednesday.
Hallasgo said preparations are ongoing to ensure that arriving ROFs comply with existing protocols to contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Between April 29 and Nov. 3, OWWA-13 records show that a total of 6,356 ROFs have arrived home in Caraga.
“Usually, from November to December, OWWA-13 visits the areas in Caraga where there are high concentrations of returning ROFs,” Hallasgo said.
“Family Day among our ROFs is also celebrated during December. But during this time of the pandemic and with the implementation of quarantine protocols, we are not certain if such program will be facilitated next month,” she said.
OWWA-13 data showed that of the 6,356 ROFs, 1,260 are from Agusan del Norte, 1,050 from Agusan del Sur, 1,095 from Surigao del Norte, 1,328 from Surigao del Sur, 138 from the Province of Dinagat Islands, 1,436 from Butuan City, and 49 are from Siargao Island.
The latest batch of ROFs in the region that arrived on Monday consisted of 66 individuals, Hallasgo said.
She said food packs are provided to ROFs upon their arrival, including accommodation for those who need to wait for their transportation from their respective local government units.
ROFs are subject to existing health protocols once they arrive in their respective localities, she added. (PNA)