Catandunganons who were repatriated into the Philippines following the spread of COVID-19 are still awaiting the green light from the provincial government to come home.
Such is the case for Abelardo T. Brizo, a welder from barangay Inalmasinan, Caramoran, who contacted the Tribune last Friday after spending 22 days in quarantine at a hotel in Pasay City.
“Kung totoosin tapos na sana ‘yung quarantine days ko kaso hindi pa ako nila sinabay nung isang araw sa paghatid sa [B]icol region kasi nga po hindi nila nakakausap ung [LGU] dyan sa isla kaya po [nanghihingi] sana ako ng [update] kung kailan pa [pwede] makapasok dyan,” Brizo told the Tribune.
Brizo returned home on March 26 from Japan and was immediately placed under quarantine upon arrival by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
“Boring na po masyado kasi mag isa lang dito sa room… dito po sa hotel wala ako kasama pero nung nakausap ko ang OWWA sa ibang hotel meron din daw po [Catandunganon],” he said.
Informed of the workers’ plight, Acting Governor Shirley A. Abundo said an OWWA official got in touch with her office a week ago and promised to send an email regarding the matter, but none has been received as of Saturday.
Brizo also tried to contact OWWA but has not heard from them as of press time.
In a related development, about 10 Catandunganons who had been stranded at the University of the Philippines campus in Los Baños will be transported by the school administration to Tabaco City, where they will undergo 14 days of quarantine before being allowed to sail to Virac, where they will undergo seven days more in isolation.