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Government program assists 1,919 returning OFWs in Pampanga

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A total of 1,919 returning overseas Kapampangans have so far benefited from the “Balik Pinas, Balik Pampanga” program since it was launched by the provincial government last June 30.

REPATRIATED KAPAMPANGANS. Angelina Blanco, chief implementer of the “Balik Pinas, Balik Pampanga” program, delivers her message to 37 returning overseas Filipinos during a send-off ceremony in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga on Tuesday (Nov. 17, 2020). A total of 1,919 returning overseas Kapampangans have so far benefited from the program since it was launched by the provincial government last June 30. (Photo by the provincial government of Pampanga)

Program chief implementer Angelina Blanco met on Tuesday with the 37 returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) during a send-off ceremony here.

They are now part of the 1,919 ROFs who were sent home after undergoing a three-day quarantine at the New Clark City and testing negative for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) based on their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

They were required to undergo home quarantine for 11 more days.

“I am not a Filipino, but the service is really, really over impressive. And I did not see anything like this anywhere in the world. If I were you. I would be highly proud, and really thankful to the provincial government. It is an extraordinary human service. Keep the good job up, you are doing great. I wish that this humanity, perfect service, and excellent staff can be taught to other countries, like my country,” said Fouad Salaam, of Beirut, Lebanon, in a social media post.

He is the husband of Grace Salaam, a Kapampangan OFW, who went home to the province at the time of the pandemic.

The provincial government also launched the “Balik Pinas, Balik Pampanga” Citizen’s App to assist all Kapampangans returning from abroad.

The mobile phone application serves as a tool in updating the provincial government beforehand on the number of ROFs who will arrive in Metro Manila and eventually the province, expediting the process of return and determining the kind of assistance needed by the returnees upon their arrival.

To register, Kapampangans abroad may go to the www.balikpampanga.ph website and download the app.

Upon signing up, they would receive a one-time-password (OTP) that would be sent through their e-mail.

They may then log in with their username and OTP, complete the documents needed, and wait for the QR code and reference number that would also be sent through e-mail. This means the application has been approved.

Only ROFs who registered at least 10 days before their scheduled flight would be accommodated. (Zorayda Tecson, PNA)

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