MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Tuesday his department will prepare for the repatriation of around 200 Filipinos workers laid off by Qatar Airways.
"I don't need clearance from anybody. I'm taking them home. @DFAPHL prepare for the repatriation. I expect a report from our people in Qatar NOW,” Locsin said in a tweet.
According to Philippine Labor Attache to Qatar David Des Dicang, the workers' termination was effective Tuesday. The reason stated in their notice letter was redundancy.
Dicang said most of the workers were assigned at the technical department such as engineers, maintenance staff, and other related jobs.
The Filipinos were assured however they will get their end of service benefits.
This comes as airlines worldwide suffer profit loss due to increasing cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Based on a Ministry of Health report, Qatar has 439 COVID-19 cases as of March 16. Four of them have recovered.
Qatar has the highest number of COVID-19 cases among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries in the region.
Dicang, meanwhile, told ABS-CBN News that the Philippine Embassy in Doha and the POLO are now coordinating with the Qatar Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs for assistance especially for the laid-off workers who have existing bank loans.
As of March 16, COVID-19 has infected more than 167,000 people, with 6,606 deaths worldwide, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).--With report from Willard Cheng and Maxxy Santiago, ABS-CBN News