Over 200k overseas Filipinos have returned home
MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that as of September 30,2020, over 200,000 overseas Filipinos have been repatriated from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released Sunday night, the DFA said a total of 204,481 have returned from all over the world were 69,477 or 33.98% were sea-based workers while 135,004 or 66.01% were all land-based workers.
During the month of September, 41,892 have returned home, a great number of whom came from the Middle East with 31,217 or 74.5% were from oil-rich countries, from the Persian Gulf countries.
The same report said 4,226 or 10.1% were from Asia and the Pacific, while 3,666 or 8.8% came from the Americans and 2,634 or 6.3% came from European countries while 149 or 0.3% came from the African continent.
Last month the DFA sent a goodwill mission to Lebanon with the office of the Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert E. A. Borje, the Philippine delegation brought 5,000 boxes of relief goods for the Filipino community in Beirut. They also brought medical supplies for the two Lebanese hospitals and two non-government organizations which have been taking care of Filipino migrant workers in Lebanon.
On the return flight, 317 overseas Filipino workers traveled home. Most of the workers were household service employees affected by the economic crisis and the recent blast at the Port of Beirut which left scores dead and over hundred others injured.
Sixteen stranded seafarers were brought home by the Department of Foreign Affairs from Xiamen, China despite the country’s existing restrictions on the disembarkation of seafarers and the unavailability of commercial flights. The trip was a result of months of negotiations and close coordination between the Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen, the Philippine Embassy in Beijing and the Office of the undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs.
A number of flights have been chartered and brought home more than a thousand of distressed overseas Filipinos from Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam in Saudi Arabia. All the chartered flights were through the resources of the DFA’s Assistance-to-Nationals Fund.
More overseas Filipinos will be repatriated during the last quarter of the year. (Melo M. Acuña)
Common sight at the country's top international airports as DFA welcomes repatriated overseas Filipinos from different parts of the world. (DFA Photo)