Attempts to repatriate Filipinos from Afghanistan hampered by commercial flight cancellations
DFA attempts to evacuate Filipinos in Afghanistan
MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported they are exhausting all possible ways to ensure the Filipino workers’ safety and eventual evacuation.
In a statement released mid-afternoon today, the DFA said two attempts were made last night to evacuate Filipinos via New Delhi and Islamabad. However, these were unsuccessful due to the cancellation of commercial flights.
“As experienced by the groups last night, access to and even within the airport is very difficult, and if able to check-in, this is still no assurance that a flight would be able to leave,” the statement added.
It was learned some Filipinos were able to leave through their foreign employers, and it was confirmed seven Filipinos who evacuated to Qatar, and another five to the United Kingdom. There were reports of other Filipinos who have left Kabul which Philippine Embassies are still verifying.
The DFA will assist in their return to the Philippines.
It is estimated there are still 90 Filipinos in Afghanistan and those requesting repatriation has reached 79.
Filipinos still in Afghanistan have been advised to prepare to leave on short notice, and be able to travel with minimal luggage.
As of June 30,2020, the DFA reported 497 Filipinos in Afghanistan with 184 documented or temporary migrants and 313 undocumented or irregular migrants. (Melo M. Acuña)
A picture of the 35 Filipinos who arrived from Afghanistan via Doha. (DFA Photo)