Good news for OFWs: 31 countries recently lifted restrictions for inbound overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), once again allowing the deployment of workers, subject to strict medical protocols.
Lifting Travel Restrictions for Inbound OFWs
The Philippine government faced many difficulties amid the sudden influx of workers who lost their jobs, both locally and abroad.
The country faces huge financial issues as it repatriated OFWs and provided them with monetary assistance for food and other needs. Lower remittances in the past months could also have a big impact in the economy.
More OFWs are losing their jobs and going home compared with the ones being deployed, mostly because of travel restrictions and employers fearing that the incoming/returning OFWs could be COVID-19 carriers.
But the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Sunday, July 6, that 31 countries have lifted restrictions for inbound OFWs. This means that flights might soon be announced for these areas as workers and travelers will be allowed to travel there again.
Bahamas, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the new countries that lifted restrictions on inbound OFWs.
The DFA announced that though there remains travel restrictions in all countries and territories, a total of 78 have also provided entry exemptions to Filipinos who are 1) citizens of the destination country and returning residents, 2) UN passport holders going to post or on official travel, and 3) OFWs with work visas and contracts.
However, 68 countries and territories remain strict with their borders, refusing to lift restrictions or provide exemptions for most travelers, including OFWs.
With the resumption of international flight operations in NAIA Terminal 3 on July 8, OFWs are advised to check ahead of time for any changes with their flights as restrictions could still change without prior notice.
Who Pays for OFW Plane Tickets?
Most companies and employers pay for OFW plane tickets, subject to conditions. For example, the tickets are free for inbound workers and those who are going home after their contracts end. Vacations might also be allowed, with free airfare, but depending on the contract with the company.