Locsin, Saudi envoy to PH tackle health support services for OFWs
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in the Philippines discussed the improvement of health access and support services for overseas Filipinos in the Middle Eastern country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“[Met] with the ever-helpful Amb H.E. Abdullah Al Bussairy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [with] his Ministry’s help to bring back the remains of our Filipino dead. The difficulty is as much with us—we have few flights and they’re erratic—as it is with their administrative process,” Locsin said in a tweet on Monday.
MET with the ever helpful Amb H.E. Abdullah Al Bussairy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia his Ministry's help to bring back the remains of our Filipino dead. The difficulty is as much with us—we have few flights and they're erratic—as it is with their administrative process.
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) June 15, 2020FEATURED STORIESGLOBALNATIONGLOBALNATION
In a separate tweet, the DFA said Locsin and Bussairy met for “follow-up discussions on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Filipinos in Saudi Arabia.”
15 June 2020 – Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. meets with Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the Philippines H.E. Abdullah Al Bussairy for follow-up discussions on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Filipinos in Saudi Arabia. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/a0JcNvtha2
— DFA Philippines (@DFAPHL) June 15, 2020
According to the DFA, the two officials discussed “improving access to health and support services for [overseas Filipinos] affected by the pandemic, and treatment of the remains of those who passed away due to COVID-19.”
Locsin also assured the ambassador DFA’s continued cooperation with civil aviation authorities regarding the “urgent need to allow the resumption of as many flights as possible” for repatriation given the limited flights between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia, the department said.
The DFA noted that the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia is the biggest in the Middle East and “one of the largest in the world.”
As of Sunday afternoon, DFA figures showed that nearly 3,500 Filipinos in the Middle East and Africa regions had contracted the coronavirus disease.
Of the number, 1,887 remain under treatment, while 1383 have so far recovered. There have been 152 deaths reported so far in the region.
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