Remains of 44 OFWs from Saudi Arabia to be flown home on Friday
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is set to bring home the remains of 44 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Saudi Arabia on Friday, including 19 who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Department of Labor and Employment.
The remains of 44 OFWs are among the cadavers of the 274 OFWs from Saudi Arabia who are scheduled to be returned home in the Philippines.
“Right now, we only have 274 and by Friday we are bringing 44 OFWs,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a press briefing on Wednesday.
“Nineteen COVID-19-related, 25 non-COVID related. This is the latest. A total of 44 deceased OFWs,” he added.
Bello said the bodies are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines at 9:15 a.m. on Friday via a Philippine Airlines flight.
He said more bodies will be repatriated on Sunday and additional batches will be arranged in the coming days.
“We wanted to bring more pero the plane that we were able to charter for the purpose of repatriating them would only accommodate 40. We will bring them home as soon as we can get the transportation facility,” said Bello.
According to Bello, the government has already communicated with 15 crematorium facilities where the bodies of the OFWs who died from COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia will be burned.
He then appealed for understanding to the families of the remaining deceased OFWs that are yet to be repatriated, explaining that the bodies could not be brought home all at once due to the number of requirements and the limited capacity for the flight.
Nevertheless, the labor chief assured the remains of the 274 OFWs will be brought back to the Philippines.
“We will see to it that we will bring them home because they deserve to be buried in their homeland. After all, they are our modern-day heroes,” said Bello.
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