Balanga Bishop Ruperto C.Santos lamented the slow release of coronavirus tests conducted on returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are currently staying in quarantine facilities.

Bishop Ruperto C. Santos (Manila Bulletin file photo)

Santos, the vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines- Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People said, the delay has caused OFWs who are negative to the virus to spend less time with their families and loved ones.

“The slow and delayed release of the RT PCR COVID-19 test results is an added burden to our OFWs. Their much needed vacation with their families and rest are shortened. It gives them much anxiety and worries them. It also affects our economy as some of them may eventually lose their jobs because they might overstay because of the delay,” the bishop said over Radio Veritas.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) earlier reported the slow release of the COVID-19 tests due to the volume of returning OFWs undergoing the test.

“I am appealing to those concerned to prioritize our OFWs and for a faster testing and release of results for our returning workers,” the Church leader said. “It will also be a great help and huge relief if there are preferred lines or windows for our OFWs,” added Bishop Santos.

The prelate, likewise, appealed for the patience and cooperation of the OFWs.

“We, in CBCP-ECMI, appeal for the patience and continued cooperation of our OFWs. These qualities-patience, perseverance and collaboration-are your known qualities. Now, we are translating them not only in foreign lands or in your works but much more at home. We are always praying and offering our Holy Masses especially for our OFWs and seafarers. We are always praying for your safety, strength and sound health,” Santos said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (