Remains of 88 more OFWs from Saudi Arabia flown back to PH
MANILA, Philippines — The remains of 88 more overseas Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia arrived in the Philippines and were given arrival rites by various government agencies on Sunday.
Of the remains that were flown home, 28 were from Dhahran, 11 from Jeddah, and 39 from Riyadh, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“I say they fought a good fight because just like what our migrant workers are known for, they worked tirelessly to try and make good decisions and help others,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
“In pursuit of change in the world around them, Filipino migrant workers chose to earn a living abroad so they can provide a better future for their families,” he added.
Of the repatriated bodies, 57 were coronavirus disease (COVID-19) fatalities which were immediately brought to crematoriums.
Meanwhile, the rest of the bodies were brought back to their respective provinces at the expense of the government.
“All expenses for their repatriation, cremation, transportation and other expenses are shouldered by the government,” said Bello.
DOLE initially said it was expecting 66 remains to be flown home from Saudi Arabia on Saturday. However, 22 more bodies were added following the earlier than expected release of their exit visas.
The venue for receiving the remains of the migrant workers on Sunday was also transferred from Villamor Airbase, where seven personnel tested positive for COVID-19, to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
The government of Saudi Arabia had earlier asked the Philippines to bring home the remains of nearly 300 Filipinos who died in the kingdom.
On July 10, the remains of an initial 49 OFWs from Saudi Arabia arrived in the Philippines.
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