A total of 6,656 distressed overseas Filipino workers have been repatriated since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis started, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Arriola said 4,687 seafarers from 30 cruise ships and 1,969 land-based overseas Filipino workers had returned home.
Arriola said that the DFA and concerned agencies would continue to repatriate distressed OFWs but appealed for patience amid the global public health emergency.
Some 802 more distressed workers are expected to return home on Monday.
The DFA official added that repatriations in Lebanon would continue once the lockdown there was lifted or once the Lebanese government allowed special flights.
Meanwhile, Arriola said many OFWs returned from Kuwait on free flights because of the Kuwaiti government’s amnesty program.
The DFA official asked undocumented workers to reach out to the Philippine Embassy for help in availing of the program.
She also said that Bahrain had waived monthly fees for flexi-visa holders for three months. Applicants could also apply for free for the next three months.
She also appealed to Filipinos stranded abroad to reach out to Philippine embassies for assistance.