PH Embassy in Kuwait Facilitates Repatriation of More than 3,000 Filipinos Since Start of COVID-19 Crisis
Homebound. Some 300 overseas Filipinos prepare to check-in at Kuwait International Airport, before taking their chartered Kuwait Airways flight to Manila on 01 July 2020. This is the second repatriation flight arranged by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait this week. (Kuwait PE photos)
KUWAIT 03 July 2020 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait mounted its second chartered Kuwait Airways flight on 01 July 2020 carrying 318 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) displaced by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Kuwait. This brings to 3,098 the total number of OFWs who were repatriated from Kuwait since the COVID-19 crisis began in March 2020.
In a statement, Chargé d’Affaires and Consul General to Kuwait Mohd. Noordin Pendosina N. Lomondot expressed his gratitude to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for approving the Embassy’s flight clearance request for this week’s two chartered repatriation flights.
“The close coordination between the Embassy and the DFA made possible the approval by CAAP of the second Kuwait-to-Manila flight this week. This also shows the Philippine government’s commitment to bring home our kababayan who are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown in Kuwait,” said Chargé d’Affaires Lomondot.
The cost of the air tickets of about half of the 318 Filipinos onboard the chartered repatriation flight was shouldered by their respective companies and employers, while the other half of the tickets were paid by the Embassy under the DFA’s Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) Fund.
Majority of those who were repatriated are Visa 18 (private sector) OFWs who either were at the end of their employment contracts, terminated from their positions, or placed under a “no work, no pay” arrangement during the three-month-long COVID-19 lockdown in Kuwait. The Embassy also repatriated a group of pregnant Filipino women who expressed their desire to give birth in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the Embassy reminds the Filipino community in Kuwait to signify their intent to be repatriated to the Philippines by answering the Embassy’s ongoing online survey, which may be accessed via this link: http://bit.ly/KuwaitPESurveyRepat.
According to the public advisory released by the Embassy on 30 June 2020, Filipinos in Kuwait do not need to call the Embassy’s hotlines or visit the Embassy to register their names for their possible repatriation by the Embassy.
As stated in the Embassy’s public advisory, “Due to physical distancing measures at the Embassy, the Embassy discourages Filipinos in Kuwait from visiting the Embassy to inquire or request for their repatriation. The online survey already serves the purpose of receiving repatriation requests from Filipinos in Kuwait”. END