DFA: Overseas Filipinos repatriated due to COVID-19 hit 90,000

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2020 01:36 AM

The DFA welcomed some 707 OFWs from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Courtesy of DFA Facebook Page

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday said that 11,688 more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returned home, raising the total number of repatriated citizens to 90,497.

Of this number, 40,540 are sea-based while 49,957 are land-based, with the most recent repatriates arriving from the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and US.

The DFA said it facilitated this week some 31 flights from the Middle East and brought home more than 8,500 OFWs. 

More Filipino seafarers from Canada, Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Pakistan, Singapore and the US have also returned to the Philippines.

"The DFA, together with its Philippine embassies and consulates around the world, remains fully committed to bringing home our nationals abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic," the agency said in a statement.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) earlier sought additional funding worth P2.5 billion to help OFWs displaced by the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency has provided returning OFWs with a one-time $200 (P10,000) cash assistance as part of its Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program. 

The DOLE was already given P2.5 billion to finance its AKAP program, which is expected to benefit 250,000 OFWs.

As of July 4, the agency received some 551,606 aid applications from both land-based and sea-based workers, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement. - With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News