THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) breached the 300,000 mark in the number of overseas Filipinos repatriated due to the pandemic.
The latest are 13,537 repatriates – its highest weekly total since the Department started its COVID-19 repatriations in February.
As of Sunday, the DFA has brought home 300,838 overseas Filipinos from all over the world, 90,621 (30.12%) of them sea-based workers and 210,217 (69.88%) land-based.
“This is the biggest repatriation effort in the history of the DFA and of the Philippines. We thank the indefatigable efforts of our DFA personnel who have been working 24/7 since February. We also thank our Foreign Service Posts and our partner government agencies for their invaluable contribution to the DFA’s repatriation efforts.” said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola.
Among the 59 flights facilitated by the Department this week was a Philippine Airlines flight chartered by the DFA which brought home 319 distressed overseas Filipinos from Dammam, Saudi Arabia. This is the 5th DFA-chartered flight which repatriated stranded compatriots from Saudi Arabia’s eastern region.
The Department, through its Embassy in Port Moresby, also assisted in the safe return of overseas Filipinos from the Solomon Islands while a collaboration of the Embassy in Amman with the International Organization for Migration resulted in the successful repatriation of 18 Filipinos from Jordan. This week, the DFA, in coordination with its various Foreign Service Posts, also assisted in bringing home:
- 11 stranded Filipinos from Malaysia
- 9 undocumented OFWs from China;
- 8 medical repatriates from France, Japan, Austria, Oman, UAE, USA;
- 3 undocumented OFWs and possible victims of trafficking-in-persons from Qatar, Egypt, and Syria;
- 2 seafarers from the Bahamas; and
- 1 distressed Filipino student from Australia.
As the holidays approach, the DFA vowed to continue to work doubly hard to ensure that Filipinos who continue to be stranded abroad are brought back home.