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2 OFWs give birth while in quarantine at Subic freeport

OVERSEAS Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia arrive at the Subic Bay International Airport in this July 7 file photo.

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Two returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) unexpectedly felt labor pain while in a quarantine hotel here and gave birth days after arrival from Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the new mothers were among the 293 OFWs who arrived last July 7 under the ongoing government repatriation program for OFWs and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).

“Our information from the One-Stop-Shop Command at the Subic airport was that both deliveries went well and that the mothers and their babies were healthy,” Eisma said.

She said the first delivery happened on July 9 when one of the OFWs in quarantine at the Vista Marina Hotel here, a 32-year-old resident of Cavite, went into labor. She was brought by Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) personnel to a government hospital in Olongapo City where she gave birth.

The following day, July 10, another OFW under quarantine in the same hotel, this time a 36-year-old from North Cotabato, experienced labor pains and was also brought to the Olongapo hospital for childbirth.

“Following completion of the mandatory isolation and negative RT-PCR test results, they were soon discharged from the Subic quarantine facility,” Eisma added.

The childbirths provided a sidelight to the ongoing government repatriation program using the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) as an entry point for Philippine Airlines (PAL) flights ferrying home workers and other returning overseas Filipinos.

Consistent with health protocols, the new arrivals were quarantined for at least seven days in accredited hotels and other accommodation facilities inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Eisma said.

Subic became an alternate port of entry for OFWs and other returning overseas Filipinos in line with government policy to limit arrivals in all international airports in the country to just 1,500 passengers per day to comply with health protocols during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As an alternate entry point for returning OFWs, Subic has received a total of four PAL flights since July 7, including the latest flight this morning that brought in 185 OFWs from Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

The first PAL flight scheduled here for July 5 was diverted to the Clark Freeport due to strong tailwind. Four more OFW flights by PAL are set to arrive in Subic on July 24, 25 and 27 and on August 3.

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