The Department of Labor and Employment said it will use its lone Philippine Air Force C-130 airplane to ferry hundreds of overseas Filipino workers stranded in Hong Kong after their travel agency failed to confirm their flight bookings before Christmas day.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the department is also coordinating with the Philippine Airlines to arrange flights for the affected OFWs, reportedly numbering around 1,000.
“The government is now working toward helping the Philippine-bound OFWs who were stuck in Hong Kong after their travel agency failed to confirm their flight bookings on time,” Bello said.
Bello assured the affected OFWs that they will be home with their families before Christmas day.
The labor chief claimed that the department got confirmation from PAL that it will update their flight from Hong Kong to Manila to have “extra seats” to accommodate the OFWs.
“They committed that the stranded Filipino workers will be home in two to three days or before Christmas,” Bello said.
The DoLE is also coordinating with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and requested Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for a C-130 plane to bring the OFWs home.
“I’m just waiting for the head of office in charge of the C-130 for us to be able to give the details of how many passengers can be accommodated,” Bello said.
“We are doing our best upon instruction of President Duterte to bring back the OFWs before Christmas,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bello said he is now coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation for possible large-scale estafa case to be filed against Peya Travel, the travel agency blamed for the incident, saying “large-scale estafa, is a non-bailable offense.”