Some Pinoys in Sri Lanka want to go home amid economic crisis

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2022 07:08 PM

People wait to buy kerosene at a gas station amid a fuel shortage in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 11 April 2022. Chamila Karunarathne, EPA-EFE/file
People wait to buy kerosene at a gas station amid a fuel shortage in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 11 April 2022. Chamila Karunarathne, EPA-EFE/file

MANILA — Some Filipinos in Sri Lanka want to go home due to the ongoing economic crisis there, an adviser for Filipino expatriates said Monday.

"Nase-stress kami kasi second home namin ito. We hope babalik na sa dati ang Sri Lanka," said Zeny Gadut, the adviser of the Association of Filipinos in Sri Lanka, echoing the sentiments of her fellow expats. 

(We are stressed because this is our second home. We hope Sri Lanka goes back to normal).

Gadut, who has been living in Sri Lanka for a decade now, said some Filipinos want to go back to the Philippines amid fears of food and oil shortage there.

Sri Lanka continues to be affected heavily by inflation, shortage of basic goods due to rising oil prices, tax cuts and more.

"Mayroong mga nag-request [at] nagtatanong about repatriation. Gusto nila mag-repatriate kasama anak nila at asawa, pero hindi naman po karamihan. I think mayroon akong 8 families na nag-request sa group chat namin na gusto talagang magpa-repatriate," Gadut said.

(There have been some requesting and asking about repatriation. They want to go home with their children and spouses, but there are not too many of them. I think I have 8 families who have request repatriation through our group chat.)

Gadut, founder of Kabayan Group in Sri Lanka, is worried that the economic crisis may lead to bigger problems for the Filipino community there. 

While there are still food supplies, many basic goods have already ramped up prices.

"Ang problema po namin dito at pangamba ay sa supply ng food. Hindi namin alam hanggang kailan. So far sa ngayon meron pa nabibili. Hindi namin alam hanggang kailan merong food supply dito," Gadut said.

(Our problem here is the supply of food. We don't know until when this will last. So far there are still available food products for purchase, but we don't know until when the food supply here will last.)

She noted that among the reasons her fellow Filipinos are having economic difficulties is the meager income they get in the South Asian country.

Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Usec. Sarah Lou Ysmael Arriola said they are closely coordinating with the Filipino community leaders through the Embassy of the Philippines in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

She said Filipinos who wish to be repatriated may contact the Philippine Consulate in Colombo at +94-11432267, +94-11432268 or email at philcon.cmb@cotrop.net

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