PH Embassy in Moscow Sends Home Distressed OFWs

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Philippine Embassy in Moscow Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General Bob Ferrer, Jr. and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Anna Guerra send off the repatriates at the Domodedovo airport on 27 February 2021. (Moscow PE photo by A. Sunga) 

MOSCOW 02 March 2021 – The Philippine Embassy in Moscow, in close coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of Migrant Workers’ Affairs (DFA-OUMWA), repatriated five distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who left Russia on 27 February 2021 and arrived in Manila today, 01 March 2021.

Through the efforts of the Embassy in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of Migrant Workers’ Affairs (DFA-OUMWA), the Filipinos were provided one-way airfare from Moscow to Manila, as well as pre-flight COVID-19 swab tests conducted in Moscow. Upon their arrival in Manila, they will also receive assistance from airport teams of DFA-OUMWA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for their post-arrival quarantine and domestic transportation to their respective hometowns.

Since the onset of the pandemic in Russia in early 2020, the Embassy has pursued cooperation with DFA-OUMWA in facilitating the safe and orderly repatriation of OFs who have requested Philippine government aid. The Embassy also continues to work closely with local authorities in Russia, Armenia and Kazakhstan to help resolve immigration violations of undocumented Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines. From March 2020 up to present, in the midst of the pandemic and logistical and administrative challenges, the Embassy successfully provided financial assistance in the purchase of airline tickets, as well as support in migration police and court appearances, and pre-departure, transit and arrival coordination with airlines and airport teams in the Philippines for OFs which encompassed working adults, dependents, minors and even medical patients.

Many of the OFs who sought help from the Embassy had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reduced employment opportunities, greater and more prevalent health risks and even problems back in the Philippines have driven members of the Filipino Community in Russia, as well as in Armenia and Kazakhstan, to return to their homeland. Among the first batch of repatriates for 2021 assisted by the Embassy, there were those who eagerly looked forward to being reunited with their loved ones and starting their life anew.

With the strong support of DFA-OUMWA and the anticipated grant of more government funds, the Philippine Embassy in Moscow hopes to arrange the repatriation of another batch of Filipinos within the first half of 2021. END

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Philippine Ambassador Carlos D. Sorreta (standing) speaks with the five distressed OFWs at the Ople Room of the Philippine Embassy in Moscow. The Ambassador took the opportunity to wish everyone a safe journey and to assure them of the support of the DFA-OUMWA and OWWA officials upon their arrival in the Philippines. (Moscow PE photo by C. Alpay)

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A light-hearted exchange among the repatriates and Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General Bob Ferrer, Jr. (rightmost) while waiting to board their vehicles to go to Domodedovo Airport. (Moscow PE photo by A. Sunga)

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The OFW repatriates pose over a snowy backdrop at the Embassy's main entrance together with the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) Team of the Philippine Embassy in Moscow, Vice Consul Catherine Alpay (second from left) and ATN Officer Mr. Ray Parojinog (leftmost). (Moscow PE Photo by A. Sunga)

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