DFA Repatriates Close to 40,000 Overseas Filipinos This November
PASAY CITY, 01 December 2020 - Spirits were high in the DFA after the successful repatriation of a distressed Filipino worker who won her rape case against a Kuwaiti police officer. She is one of the 39,957 overseas Filipinos (OFs) brought home by the DFA this November as it closed its ninth consecutive month of repatriation efforts. Upon recovery, she was sheltered at the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Center where she was assisted by the Philippine Embassy in her legal battle against her assailant through the DFA’s Legal Assistance Fund.
“Her return to the Philippines is a monumental event and a win for the country,” Undersecretary Arriola exclaimed.
Since the DFA began its COVID-related repatriation efforts in February 2020, the total number of repatriated OFs now stands at 277,320. Of this number, 86,413 (31.16%) are sea-based OFs while 190,907 (68.84%) are land-based.
For November, the DFA brought home 34,312 OFs from the Middle East, 3,310 from Asia and the Pacific, 2,316 from Europe, 10 from Africa and 9 from the Americas. The DFA also organized three chartered flights which flew home 460 distressed overseas Filipinos who have been stranded in China, Saudi Arabia, and Timor Leste for several months. These chartered flights were shouldered by the DFA through its augmented ATN funds under Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
November also saw the medical repatriation of 21 overseas Filipinos with serious illness from Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Cuba, Italy, Kuwait, Laos, Oman, and Pakistan. All throughout November, our DFA frontliners were at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and assisted in the safe return of our distressed kababyan.
9 Filipino seafarers were also finally brought home by the DFA this November after their shipping vessel was abandoned by its owner at the Port of Djibouti. The Department through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs coordinated with its missions abroad to lobby hard with the Djibouti representatives in the International Maritime Organization in London, the United Nations in New York and the Djibouti Embassy in Tokyo to allow the disembarkation of the Filipino crew of MV Arybbas on humanitarian grounds. They arrived safely in Manila last 24 November 2020 after being stranded onboard their vessel for more than fourteen months.
“The DFA continues to deliver on its promise of bringing home our overseas Filipinos, regardless of the challenges we face,” said Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola
As 2020 draws to a close, the DFA remains unwavering in its promise to repatriate Filipinos all around the world amidst the pandemic. END