252 Filipinos in Myanmar seek repatriation
MANILA, Philippines — A total of 252 Filipinos in Myanmar have expressed interest to be repatriated, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday as thousands joined anti-coup protests across the Southeast Asian country.
In a message to reporters Tuesday, the DFA said it was finalizing a chartered flight agreement for the repatriation scheduled next Monday (Feb. 15).
The Philippine Embassy in Yangon is “in the process of getting confirmation of those Filipinos,” according to the DFA.
The desire of Filipinos in Myanmar to be repatriated was mainly triggered because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This has nothing to do with the turmoil in Myanmar,” Philippine Ambassador to Myanmar Eduardo Kapunan Jr. said in Filipino an interview over CNN Philippines also on Tuesday.
According to Kapunan, the embassy has already received the necessary go-signal from Myanmar authorities for the repatriation flight.
“Actually, on day two of the coup in Myanmar, they closed the airport. But because of the request of the diplomatic community, relief flights came up. I think they opened the airports, but not yet to commercial flights,” he said.
“So there are still no commercial flights. They are all relief flights that get in and out of Myanmar now,” he added.
Based on DFA data, there are 1, 273 Filipinos in Myanmar as of June last year.
Many Filipinos there work in the manufacturing industry as supervisors while some also work for the United Nations agencies and other international organizations there, according to the DFA.
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