300,000 Jobless OFW to Return to PH;Fears Growing Depression;Some in Quarantine Committed Suicide

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300,000 Jobless OFWs returning to Philippines- manilastandard.net

300,000 OFWs to return to Philippines due to coronavirus pandemic- news.abs-cbn.com

OFW in quarantine commits suicide - tribune.net.ph

OFW from Kuwait commits suicide after quarantine - www.expatmedia.net

A female cruise ship worker awaiting repatriation to the Philippines died in an apparent suicide - DailyGuardian

OFWs fear growing depression over month-long quarantine - www.msn.com

Depression, suicide and Covid-19 - businessmirror.com.ph

300k jobless OFWs returning

Shell-shocked from losing work, migrant labor faces host of issues at home

The government expects some 300,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to return to the country this year as their host countries—under lockdowns because of the COVID-19 pandemic—send migrant workers home, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday.

“For the whole year, we are expecting that 300,000 OFWs will come home,” Año said in Filipino. “The whole world is under lockdown. They are sending home migrant workers, not just from the Philippines, but other countries, too. This is our chance to show the importance of OFWs when they get home.”

But repatriated workers so far have not fared well, spending up to two months in isolation centers rather than the required 14 days because of delays in their COVID-19 testing.

Full Story: https://manilastandard.net/mobile/article/324531

300,000 OFWs to return to Philippines due to coronavirus pandemic: DILG chief

Some 300,000 overseas Filipino workers are expected to return to the Philippines this year as lockdowns meant to curb the coronavirus pandemic left many businesses struggling to survive, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Monday. 

The Philippines has repatriated some 27,000 migrant workers and around 43,000 others are expected to come home until June, officials earlier said. 

"Sa buong taon ni-expect kasi natin na mga 300,000 na OFWs ang uuwi," DILG Secretary Eduardo Año told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

"Buong mundo kasi ang naka-lockdown. Pinauuwi talaga nila iyong mga workers -- hindi lang Pilipinas -- iba't ibang countries. Ito rin ang pagkakataon na ipakita natin ang importance ng mga OFWs 'pag sila ay umuwi na," he added. 

(During the whole year, we are expecting that 300,000 OFWs will come home. The whole world is under lockdown. They are sending home migrant workers, not just from the Philippines, but other countries, too. This is our chance to show the importance of OFWs, when they get home.) 

Source: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/25/20/300000-ofws-to-return-to-philippines-due-to-coronavirus-pandemic-dilg-chief


OFW in quarantine commits suicide

Police are investigating the apparent suicide of a repatriated overseas Filipino worker (OFW)  found dead while hanging from a stairway railing in Pasay City on Sunday morning. The victim was identified as Algen Cadungog, 42, and a native of Demapaco Libungan, Cotabato City. She arrived in the country from Kuwait on 4 April and was undergoing quarantine in a lodging house in Barangay 76 Zone 10 with other OFW. Cadungog was found dead at 6 a.m. by another OFW with a scarf looped around her neck and was tied in the staircase railing. According to the OFW who Cadungog was with for weeks, she was last seen alive and seemed stressful at around 4:00 a.m., two hours before she was found dead. Authorities said Cadungog has allegedly tried to commit suicide back in Kuwait but her reasons for doing so were unknown. Pasay City Public Information disclosed that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has communicated with Cadungog’s family.

Source: https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2020/04/27/ofw-in-quarantine-commits-sucide/

OFW from Kuwait commits suicide after quarantine

A 42-year-old Filipina has committed suicide after completing her 14-day quarantine in Pasay City in the Philippines on Sunday (April 26).

The Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) said that the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) was staying at the OWWA-provided lodging house when she committed suicide on Sunday morning.

They did not release details about the suicide or the victim’s identity but said she was a resident of Libungan in Cotabato.

The victim was reportedly in quarantine at the facility with other OFWs from Kuwait beginning on April 4.

Source: https://www.expatmedia.net/ofw-kuwait-commits-suicide-quarantine/2020/04/

A female cruise ship worker awaiting repatriation to the Philippines died in an apparent suicide amid the coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said on Thursday.

“It is my sad duty to report that a 28-year old female mariner committed suicide in her cabin in the ship where she’s had to stay because repatriation flights back to the Philippines have been suspended again,” Locsin wrote on Twitter.

“I know our quarantine facilities are jam-packed; just don’t know why,” he added.

Various international reports stated that the cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, is currently anchored off Barbados.

The foreign affairs chief said this was the second suicide incident reported among overseas Filipinos amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are tartly reminded that Filipino resilience is no excuse to stretch them to breaking point. Di sila goma; tao sila,” he said in another tweet.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has yet to provide further information on the incident. (via INQ)

Source: https://www.facebook.com/DailyGuardianPH/posts/3416785141674760

OFWs fear growing depression over month-long quarantine

In Raffy Tima's Saturday 24 Oras Weekend report , OFW Shirley said that she was growing restless, especially upon finding that she was negative for the virus

"Parang natutulala na nga rin ako. Totoo po 'yun kasi ako ramdam ko rin mismo sa sarili ko na ganoon na," Shirley said.

On April 26, Shirley's companion OFW from Kuwait committed suicide due to financial problems.

"Nagtatanong siya kung kailan ba tayo makakakuha ng P10,000 sa [Department of Labor and Employment]. Walang-wala po talaga kami," said Shirley.

For another OFW, Arfin, a Lanao del Norte native, being quarantined with his two children offered little consolation as he could tell the quarantine was taking a toll on his kids.

"Hirap na hirap na 'yung isa. Talagang 'yung nanganayat na talaga. Hindi kami makapag-luto dito kung ano 'yung gusto niya," Arfin said.

For those who were contemplating self-harm the Department of Health, together with the World Health Organization, and Natasha Goulbourn Foundation, launched Hopeline, a 24/7 suicide prevention hotline.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/160-ofws-fear-growing-depression-over-month-long-quarantine/ar-BB14uFHO?li=BBr8Mkn

Depression, suicide and Covid-19

Photo Source: https://www.rappler.com/nation/250126-depression-among-ofws-struggle-real

By Atty. Dennis R. Gorecho

Suicide reports due to depression are sad manifestations of the negative mental health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pandemic anxiety can be overwhelming, and if not handled properly may become emotional, physical and economic catastrophes.

Although the suicide incidents can be considered as isolated cases, it cannot be denied that emotional and financial stressors are well-recognized risk factors for suicide.

For many seafarers, the primary source of their depression is initially connected with repatriation issues, as they wait for news about the schedule of their journey home and see their families again.

Airline and port restrictions have made the repatriation process difficult.

In some instances, traveling is almost impossible because most international air traffic is grounded.

Similarly, many cruise lines suspended their operations to mitigate the spread of the pandemic.

Fear of the unknown and uncertainty of their future is compounded by the repeated Covid-19 outbreaks on ships, the anxiety of contracting the virus and the company’s inability to provide them with adequate protection and reliable information.

They also had to deal with financial issues, like the alteration or nonpayment of their contractual monetary benefits, especially those with expired employment contracts who have been forced into continued labor aboard ships.

Actual repatriation to the Philippines did not stop the emotional stress to some of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), as their return to their respective homes is still in limbo.

Repatriated OFWs have to wait for the results of their Covid-19 tests before they can return home.

Cruise ships are currently at the Manila Bay anchorage area with thousands of Filipino seafarers waiting for the clearance. Some are billeted in quarantine facilities.

Some of the stranded OFWs complained about their continued stay at the facilities that already exceeded the recommended 14-day quarantine.

The Department of Health attributed the delay in the release of the tests results, to encoding issues and slow pace of testing.

Sadly, one OFW from Kuwait committed suicide inside a temporary quarantine facility in Pasay City.

The Covid-19 pandemic validates the 2019 “Seafarer Mental Health Study” conducted by Yale University funded by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust that has identified worrisome levels of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts among seafarers.

It revealed a link between depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts and a greater likelihood of injury and illness on board.

Factors cited included lack of adequate training, an uncaring work environment, low job satisfaction, and existing medical conditions.

Stress causes the immune systems to weaken, inducing one to be more susceptible to illness, both mental and physical.

The study noted that seafarers with depression reported less control over their work, less ability to set their own work pace or influence decisions.

Depression is a mental state associated with loss of interest, feelings of helplessness or worthlessness and heightened levels of anxiety.

Source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/05/27/depression-suicide-and-covid-19/

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