DFA-Chartered Flight Brings Home Additional 342 Overseas Filipinos from UAE
Passengers of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)-chartered flight at the check-in counter at Dubai Airport Terminal 3. (Dubai PCG photo)
DUBAI 17 August 2020 – The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Philippine Consulate General in Dubai repatriated an additional 342 Overseas Filipinos (OFs) on 10 August 2020 via Philippine Airlines flight PR 8659. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)-chartered flight departed Dubai at 11:45 PM (local time) and arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport the following day, 11 August, at 1:45 PM (Manila time).
Majority of the passengers on the said flight were those who availed of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government’s amnesty for overstaying residence and tourist visa holders, which was to end on 10 August 2020. Under the amnesty program, those whose residence or tourist visas expired before 01 March 2020, including those absconding cases, are permitted to leave the country with all related fines waived. Meanwhile, tourist visa holders whose visas expired after 01 March 2020 took the opportunity to leave the country before the end of the grace period which ended on 10 August 2020. Many of them have been in distress due to loss of livelihood brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among those who availed of the repatriation assistance were a mother and her 7-year-old son. They were able to secure clearance to leave the country just hours before the flight.
The passengers thanked Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Department of Foreign Affairs for always doing their utmost to help OFs in Dubai and the rest of the UAE whose lives have been significantly affected by the ongoing pandemic.
The said repatriation flight followed on the heels of another DFA-chartered flight just five days before. END
Philippine Consul General to Dubai Paul Raymund P. Cortes with some of the Filipinos repatriated on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)-chartered flight on 10 August 2020. (Dubai PCG photo)