“The Pessimist Sees Difficulty In Every Opportunity. The Optimist Sees Opportunity In Every Difficulty.”
– Winston Churchill
This article will walk you through the new travel guidelines in compliance with the new Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 114, released last May 8, 2021.
If you are a land-based Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) working in Kuwait and planning to return to the Philippines, this article might be useful.
What To Do and Consider Before Kuwait Departure
2-3 days before your scheduled flight, make sure to register to:
- Kuwait Mosafer (kuwaitmosafer.gov.kw) — you’ll need this for the details of your flight. This the first thing that they will require you. Take a screenshot of the QR Code, as it will be used for scanning before you can enter the airport. For guided instruction, you may watch the video below:
You can also read on: All About Mosafer.
- Redcross E-CIF (e-cif.redcross.org.ph) — if your flight’s destination is at Clark International Airport, you need to visit their website to avail free PCR Swab Test for returning OFWs. For guided instruction, you may watch the video below:
You can also read on: All About Red Cross e-CIF (Electronic Case Investigation Form)
- balikpinas.ph — if your flight is bound to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)/ Manila OR
- mactancebuairport.com — If your flight’s destination is at Cebu’s Mactan Airport. Take a screenshot of the QR Code as it will be later scanned at the airport by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) officials.
- OASIS (oasis.owwa.gov.ph) — you’ll need this for financial assistance from the Philippine government that can help you. This is important to avail of free hotel accommodation while undergoing mandatory quarantine. For guided instruction, you may watch the video below:
You can also read on: All About OASIS (OFW Assistance Information System)
Important Reminder: Always bring a blue ballpen with you as you will have to fill-up several forms in the airport and in the airplane.
On the day of your flight: Departure
You will be given face shields at the airport and an Affidavit of Undertaking form that you will have to fill up and keep.
Inside the plane, the crew will hand out two forms that you must fill out.
- Immigration Arrival Card (white paper) – to be submitted to the Immigration officers in NAIA
- Health Declaration Form (yellow paper) – to be submitted to the BOQ staff upon entering NAIA
Important Reminder: Make it a habit of filling out forms beforehand to avoid cramming and causing trouble to other passengers.
On the day of your flight: Arrival
- Upon your arrival at NAIA, you will undergo a temperature check. Submit the health declaration form (the yellow paper) to the BOQ officers and proceed to the designated waiting area. There, you will be given an OWWA Project Care Slip by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Personnel. Fill out the slip.
- You will then be grouped according to whether you are land-based, sea-based o non-OFWs.
- Submit the immigration Arrival Card (white paper) to the immigration officer. Once cleared, proceed to the OWWA desk and submit the OWWA Project Care slip. You will be given blue flyers that mention the hotel where you will undergo your 14-day quarantine. Aside from the flyer, you will also be given a free meal and bottled water.
- Proceed and claim your baggage at the designated carousel and clear with Customs check.
- After claiming your baggage, PCG personnel will guide you out of the airport and instruct you regarding the shuttle/bus that will take you to your assigned hotel/facility.
- Upon your arrival at the hotel assigned to you, hotel staff, together with the OWWA house parents and PCG personnel, will brief you on the do’s and don’ts, protocols, and everything that has to be observed while undergoing 14-day mandatory quarantine. Please don’t hesitate to raise questions or concerns as they are all approachable.
Following the IATF Resolution No. 114 that was released last May 8, 2021, these are the protocols that need to be strictly observed:
- Returning OFWs are mandated to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
- You will be scheduled for swab testing on your 7th day at the quarantine facility.
- However, due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., typhoons, flash floods, strikes, a shift in stricter community quarantine status, etc.), your scheduled test may be postponed the next day or at a later date.
- Day 1of your quarantine starts on the day you arrive in the Philippines. If you acquire COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and/or smell, etc.) at any time before your scheduled swab test, please inform the hotel you are staying in so a medical or BOQ officer can assess and check up on you as soon as possible.
- The Philippine government will shoulder your accommodation and food during your stay. Their governing agency will shoulder any additional hotel fees due to required extensions.
- If you test positive, the BOQ shall transfer you to a designated hospital for further medical management.
- If you test negative, You will be released from the quarantine facility on the 10th day. The four (4) remaining mandatory quarantine can be completed as home quarantine.
- Upon checking out of the quarantine facility on the 10th day, there will be a shuttles/bus going to Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) Terminal (if you will head to Luzon Provinces) and shuttle/buses heading to NAIA terminal 2 if you will be traveling to Visayas or Mindanao. The ticket is free. OWWA will be the one to arrange your flight once you reach the airport.
To those returning OFWs residing in Luzon:
- Upon your arrival at PITX, please be reminded to register at the OWWA booth where your region falls under. You will also be given a free meal and bottled water.
- Wait for the shuttle/bus to arrive. It may take time before the transportation take off as it needs to reach its quota of passengers first. Food will, again, be provided.
To those bound to NCR:
- Passengers are usually sent home door-to-door. If you are off to Luzon provinces, there will be designated drop-off points to drop you. You can request your relatives to pick you up and bring you home from there.
- Remember to coordinate with and inform the Local Government Unit in your municipality or city about your arrival and if you have to undergo isolation at an LGU facility or take the remaining quarantine days at home.
About the Baggage
- Baggage allowance is specified on your plane ticket, and it varies per arrival date and destination. To make sure, you may check your ticket handled by your sponsor or ticketing agency.
- Some staff who’ll check your baggage weight may be considerate, and some may not. To avoid laeb=ving your things behind or paying for additional baggage allowance, weigh your luggage/s before your flight and strictly follow the airline’s baggage allowance guidelines.
- Make sure not to bring liquids or creams that exceed 100 mL on your hand-carry to avoid confiscation.
- If you are a returning OFW, getting vaccinated is not required. However, if you are bound to return to Kuwait, YES, you are required to have 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as long as it is not the SINOVAC variant.
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