Over 300,000 OFWs repatriated since start of the COVID-19 pandemic
By Inquirer Staff
MANILA, Philippines — Over 300,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been repatriated since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced.
The DFA reported that a total of 300,838 OFWs from all over the world have been brought back home, so. far, including 13, 537 last week, the highest weekly total since it rolled out its COVID-19 repatriation program in February.
A total of 90,621 or 30.12 percent of the OFWs are sea-based while 210,217 or 69.88 percent are 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,” said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola.
“We also thank our Foreign Service Posts and our partner government agencies for their invaluable contribution to the DFA’s repatriation efforts,” she added.
DFA also noted that among the 59 flights facilitated this week was a Philippine Airlines flight which brought home 319 distressed overseas Filipinos from Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
Also included in the list of repatriated OFWs this week were 18 workers from Jordan, 11 stranded Filipinos from Malaysia, nine undocumented OFWs from China, and eight medical repatriates from France, Japan, Austria, Oman, UAE (United Arab Emirates), and USA.
In addition, according to DFA, among the repatriates this week were two seafarers from the Bahamas and a distressed Filipino student from Austria.
The department assured that it is doubling its effort to bring home more Filipinos during the holiday season.