Several overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be charged for escaping quarantine facilities before learning that they were positive of the coronavirus, Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Armand Balilo said yesterday.
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s digital radio show Teleradyo, Balilo said these OFWs did not finish the mandatory 14-day quarantine, and could possibly be spreading the virus in their respective communities.
“During the first few days, there were those who escaped, they did not honor the quarantine procedure. They tested but they suddenly left before receiving the results,” he said in English and Filipino.
“The problem now is, they tested positive. So they’re now interacting with the people in the community, their families. And that’s going to be our problem now,” he added. “The Philippine Coast Guard is looking for them and we are taking the appropriate steps to mitigate the situation.”
In a separate interview with a newspaper, Balilo said he is not sure how many OFWs escaped their quarantines.
“I do not have the details as to how many OFWs escaped from the quarantine facilities, but the swab test results of some of them later showed that they were positive for COVID-19,” he said and added that the Bureau of Quarantine will announce the number of OFWs who left.
The migrant workers will be charged for violating the Bayanihan (“Camaraderie”) to Heal as One Act of 2020,