More overseas Filipinos return home
MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs reported 10,000 Filipinos have returned home this week through its repatriation program.
In a statement released Saturday afternoon disclosed a total of 68,440 Filipinos have returned home since the COVID-19 repatriation program began in February this year.
From the figures, 51.23 percent or 35,059 were sea-based while 48.77 percent or 33,381 were land-based workers. The most recent arrivals came from Barbados, the Maldives, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the United States of America.
In compliance with their mandate to assist Filipinos from the Middle East, the Department of Foreign affairs arranged six flights from Saudi Arabia with 1,630 passengers and seven flights from the United Arab Emirates with 2,208 persons. They also helped in the safe return of 887 Filipinos from Kuwait and Oman.
Sea-based Filipino workers were assisted in their return flights from Panama, Costa Rica, Barbados, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Canada and Singapore this week. Chartered flights were also arranged through the Assistance To Nationals funds with 183 stranded Filipinos, including three infants, and two cremated remains of OFWs from Phuket, Thailand last Monday, June 29.
The DFA said the Philippines opened its first “green lane” for seafarers in Asia through the signing of the Philippine Green Lane Joint Circular last Thursday. This will ensure that the seafarers are accorded speedy and safe travel, subject to health protocols according to the Philippine government including safe and swift disembarkation and crew change during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Melo M. Acuña)
File photo of overseas Filipinos preparing for their travel back home. (DFA Photo)