MANILA, Aug 12 (Mabuhay) — Some three chartered flights funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) brought home a total of 1,083 Filipinos to Davao, Cebu, and Manila on Wednesday.
At least 387 repatriates from Oman arrived in Davao City and were followed by another 346 on board a Philippine Airlines flight that landed from the United Arab Emirates to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport around 8 a.m.
The third and final chartered flight Philippine Airlines PR8657 arrived in Cebu City from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the afternoon, carrying 350 passengers.
“It is always a good day when we get to bring home as many of our kababayans home. Today is special having mounted three chartered flights. It means more Filipinos are safe here at home, with their families and their loved ones,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.
The latest arrivals bring to 19 the total number of DFA chartered repatriation flights since June 2021.
According to the agency, another 10 repatriation flights are scheduled for this month but additional flights will be mounted in succeeding months.
Arriola, meanwhile, appealed to the repatriates to strictly observe and comply with the quarantine procedures prescribed by the government as cases continue to rise in the country.
She then extended her gratitude to the cities of Davao and Cebu for allowing the repatriation flights at their respective airports and for providing the quarantine facilities.
“If not for their generosity, the DFA could not have mounted these much-needed repatriation flights from the Middle East,” she said.
The Filipino repatriates went through RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) tests for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) upon arrival and were also briefed on quarantine protocols and procedures before transferring to designated facilities for mandatory quarantine.
There are over 2 million overseas Filipinos in the Middle East, including 865,121 in Saudi Arabia, 648,929 in the UAE, and 52,760 in Oman.
The DFA said the Philippine embassies and consulates around the world remain fully committed to bringing distressed Filipino nationals back to the Philippines amid the ongoing health crisis. (MNS)