Stop ‘demonizing’ returning OFWs— Church exec

Stop ‘demonizing’ returning OFWs— Church exec

Fr. Resty Ogsimer, Executive Secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People. CBCPNEWS

By CBCP News

May 27, 2020

Manila, Philippines

The buck stops at the government’s doors to stop discrimination against returning overseas Filipino workers due to coronavirus scare, a church official said.

Scalabrinian Fr. Resty Ogsimer, executive secretary of the bishops’ migrants ministry, lamented that OFWs are “stigmatized” by some public officials themselves.

“So part of the solution is to refrain from demonizing them,” Ogsimer said in virtual media forum Wednesday.

The priest stressed that returning OFWs themselves are aware of the risks and would not want their family to contract coronavirus so they follow the quarantine rules.

While fear is a “normal reaction” because of the pandemic, he said the problem must faced be with better coordination between national agencies and the local government units (LGUs).

“The government has to give assurance that they (OFWs) are safe and they are not virus carriers,” Ogsimer said.

Some local chief executives earlier aired disappointment over the lack of coordination with the inter-agency task force on the “balik probinsya” (back to the province) program.

Some LGUs also decided to let returning OFWs undergo a second round of facility-based quarantine before going to their respective homes.