Over 63,000 OFWs sent home due to pandemic–Locsin
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has repatriated over 63,000 overseas Filipinos as the world reels from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., the DFA has helped bring home 63,633 overseas Filipinos as of June 29.
“The DFA has been working day in and day out to help our overseas Filipinos as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19,” Locsin said in an online media forum on Wednesday.
“We have brought back 63,633 overseas Filipinos. Half of this our land-based [overseas Filipino workers] and overseas Filipinos, and the other half are seafarers,” he added.
Locsin said the Philippine embassies and consulate generals abroad have been offering various repatriation-related services.
These include the payment of airfares particularly for undocumented overseas Filipinos, the settlement of immigration penalties for overstaying and other related charges, among others.
The DFA has also been chartering flights to bring overseas Filipinos home, according to the foreign affairs chief.
“The DFA has also been maintaining a provision of standby funds for our embassies abroad or emergency supplies. We’ll continue doing this,” Locsin said.
Latest figures from the DFA showed there are so far 8,474 COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad.
Of the number, 2,824 remain under treatment while 5,101 patients have recovered.
Meanwhile, the DFA has so far reported 549 fatalities.
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