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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Remains of 88 overseas Filipinos arrive from Saudi Arabia

Secretary Locsin meets families of 88 fatalities from Saudi Arabia

MANILA – Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. today honored 88 deceased overseas Filipino workers whose remains arrived at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

He offered condolences to the families of the late workers and recalled the sacrifices they made for their families back home.

“This is a matter close to my heart. I know the fear, the risk and the deprivation that Overseas Filipinos have to endure to seek a better life for their families and loved ones,” said in his message.

He joined other government officials and the families in receiving the remains of the migrant workers.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) worked with the Department of Labor and Employment and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for the return of the remains from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Secretary Locsin said the exclusive flights for the late overseas workers was realized despite border closures and lockdowns is a first for any administration.

“I assure our people that the Department of Foreign Affairs and its embassies and consulates abroad will do whatever it takes to bring our distressed overseas Filipinos home on their feet and on their backs,” he said.

OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac and other government officials were also in attendance at Villamor Air Base earlier today.

Administrator Cacdac said 45 of the deceased Filipino migrant workers died of COVID-19 while 43 others died of different causes. He represented Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III. In his remarks, Administrator Cacdac said the deceased workers came from different parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

He added among the deceased was a child. Twenty-eight came from Dammam, 11 from Jeddah and 39 were from Riyadh, all in Saudi Arabia. He expressed the DOLE's appreciation for the assistance extended by the government's agencies for making the repatriation a success.

"All the beneficiaries will receive cash assistance from DOLE OWWA and insurance as well as other benefits provided for by law," Cacdac added. Secretary Locsin also delivered his remarks and extended the government's solidarity with the workers' immediate families as he reiterated the government's policy of taking care of Filipino workers deployed in different countries worldwide.

Photo No. 1shows Secretary Locsin looking at the caskets of the deceased Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia. Philippine Air Force Chaplain Capt. Jesse B. Gecain (CHS) performed Catholic rites for the departed workers. (DFA and OWWA photos)

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