With the country expecting as many as 300,000 overseas Filipino workers to come home in the coming months as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Philippine Arena management said on Sunday that they would continue to accept and assist in the quarantine of returning Filipino workers in the We Heal as One Center located at the Iglesia ni Cristo megastructure in Bocaue, Bulacan.
According to Maligaya Development Corporation Chief Operating Officer Atty. Glicerio “Ka GP” Santos IV, "we know there are still thousands of our countrymen abroad who will be forced to come home because of this pandemic. This is why we recognize the need for a safe area where they can be quarantined while waiting for the results of their tests––kaya handa pa rin kaming tanggapin ang mga OFW sa ating mga pasilidad."
The We Heal As One Center-Philippine Arena recently released the largest batch of people to recover from Covid-19 in a single day, sending home a total of 78 individuals on Friday after they tested negative for the disease.
The group was composed of 76 OFWs and two members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), all of whom were grateful to medical and Philippine Arena personnel who cared for them during their quarantine.
After two months in quarantine, Joemar Alingsasaguin from Norzagaray, Bulacan said "inaasikaso naman kaming lahat ng mga frontliners; sobrang saya kasi makakasama ko na pamilya ko."
PCG officer Mark Madriaga, on the other hand, said he would be going back to the frontlines after testing negative for the virus, and thanked the INC for allowing the government to use their facilities.
"Maraming salamat po sa Philippine Arena, sa INC––sa pamamahala nila—dahil pinahiram nila ang ganitong pasilidad," said the frontliner.
At the media briefing in the Philippine Arena, National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon assured the public that the government would step up efforts to speed up testingso that OFWs could get the results in a week or less.
"Kailangan mapaiksi pa natin yan. Five days maximum ang target natin. Talagang magtatrabaho tayo ng maigi, lalo na para sa parating na OFW, in the next few days and weeks ay hanggang five days ay makakauwi sila," said Dizon, who is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
In the same briefing, Santos IV outlined the safety precautions in place at the We Heal As One Center-Philippine Arena facility.
"Habang nagaantay tayo ng test, kung negative o positive sila, derecho sila sa individual housing namin. Walang risk of infection o contamination sa iba hanggang walang test results. Pag positive, saka namin sila ipapasok dun sa quarantine tent," Santos said.
The We Heal As One Center-Philippine Arena is a quarantine facility that can accommodate 300 individuals. Philippine Arena management allowed the government to use the facility to help it in its Test, Trace, Treat strategy to contain Covid-19.
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