278 Filipinos from Qatar flown home as gov't repatriation program continues


Posted at May 22 2020 08:56 PM

MANILA - Nearly 300 Filipinos from Qatar were flown back to the Philippines Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said, as the national government's repatriation program continues amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The DFA said in a statement that 278 Filipinos, including an infant, were brought home in a Philippine Airlines chartered flight.

The flight also included 28 women who sought refuge at the embassy prior to their repatriation, the foreign office said.

The repatriation was coordinated between the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Doha, and concerned government agencies in Qatar.

"The Embassy and POLO stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to those who wish to be repatriated," the DFA said.

On Friday, the DFA also brought home two Filipino crew members from MV Costa Atlantica, an Italian-operated ship that has been docked in Nagasaki, Japan for maintenance since late January. 

Some 125 crew members of the same ship were brought home on May 5, the DFA said. 

Nine other seafarers were repatriated on the same day. 

Around 27,000 Filipino workers have been repatriated from around the globe since the pandemic began. Those flown back are tested for COVID-19 and required to take a 14-day quarantine in government facilities. 

Some 43,000 more are expected to come home between May and June as the pandemic slashed jobs all over the world, the Department of Labor and Employment said earlier.