DFA to repatriate over 7,000 stranded OFWs

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2021 07:45 PM

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said it will repatriate a total 7,060 stranded Filipinos this month, as government continues to intensify border restrictions to curb the spread of Delta variant in the country.

DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said that of the total number, 4,260 will be brought home through flights chartered by the DFA and 2,800 will be flown home through Bayanihan flights, even as the government complies with the daily 2,000 passenger cap, as well as limitations on quarantine facilities.

“Ang dahilan po talaga na nahihirapan po talaga tayo na magpauwi ng mabilis is that mayroon po tayong daily passenger cap by the IATF, 2,000 lang po ang puwedeng iuwi every day. So, conflicting interest po iyan, kung saan-saang bahagi talaga ng mundo maraming stranded at limitations po ng quarantine facilities,” Arriola said during a public briefing.

“We just have to remember po na sampu ngayon restricted countries. Sa sampung countries po na iyon, lahat po ng uuwi, regardless kung nabakunahan sila o hindi, they have to have a 14-day strict quarantine ‘no, facility-base quarantine," she noted.

As of February 2020, the DFA has facilitated the repatriation of a total of 408,911 overseas Filipinos. Of the total, 105,607 are sea-based workers while 303,304 are land-based.

Arriola said those with medical issues, with children, and in the latter stages of pregnancy are prioritized.

“More than half are those whose contracts have expired and their visas have expired and they have no other means to renew their visas,” she bared.

The Philippine government is currently prohibiting the entry of travelers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand until August 15.

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