MANILA, Philippines — More than 22,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded in different quarantine facilities have so far been transported to their respective hometown, the Department of Labor and Employment reported Saturday, five days since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the immediate release of some 24,000 COVID-19-cleared OFWs.

DOLE Undersecretary Claro A. Arellano, citing a report from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), said that as of 6am May 30, a total of 22,426 stranded OFWs have been released from quarantine facilities. Of this figure, 19,042 were transported between May 25-28 and 3,384 were brought home on May 29 alone.

OWWA provided 159 buses for transportation while some were transported by sea and air. Some of the OFW’s relatives likewise fetched their OFWs from the hotels and quarantine facilities.

All the Filipino migrant workers sent home tested negative for the novel coronavirus. Undersecretary Arellano further surmised that the DOLE will do its best to transport all the remaining OFWs in the quarantine facilities before the deadline set by the President.

Arellano also said OWWA had so far spent over P700 million for the repatriation, transport, accommodation and food of the more than 30,000 returning OFWs.