BAGUIO CITY (June 16, 2021) – At least 150 Filipinos, 128 of whom are OFW, 18 non-OFWs and five infants, were flown back to Ilocos Norte on June 12 by the Ilocos Norte Council (MINC), in cooperation with Laoag International Airport (LIA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
The repatriates, who are mostly from neighboring provinces of Ilocos Norte, will be quarantined for ten (10) days in accredited facilities. They will have a swab test on the seventh (7th) day of their confinement and will be released from quarantine on the tenth (10th) day if the results are negative.
After completing the quarantine protocols, the repatriates from outside Ilocos Norte may aboard sweeper flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL) back to Metro Manila or avail of OWWA’s free transportation to designated drop-off points.
The regional flight from Kuala Lumpur is the only one that has been approved by the Ilocos Note provincial government for the time being, according to lawyer Nikki Pilar, of the MINC.
The Laoag International Airport will accommodate more PAL international flights in the future, following the success of the maiden regional flight from Kuala Lumpur.
To support the initiative, the Ilocos Norte provincial government has requested the Department of Transportation to aid in upgrading LIA’s facilities so that flights from farther away take-off points, such as the State of Hawaii, and larger airbuses can be accommodated.
Artemio A. Dumlao