By Alexandria San Juan
Nineteen Filipino students who are completing their internship in Hanoi, Vietnam were repatriated over the weekend as the training program was cut short due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said.
According to CHED, these students, who are from Cavite State University (CavSU), Ifugao State University (IfSU), and Palawan State University (PSU) are part of the 143 Filipinos repatriated by the Philippine Embassy in Vietnam.
CHED chairman J. Prospero De Vera III said the students are supposed to complete their on-the-job training, and scholarships abroad until May, but the program was cut short following the global spread of the disease.
De Vera said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Embassy in Vietnam, arranged the repatriation flight for the 19 students who arrived on April 18.
“The Commission thanks the DFA and DOLE for their continuing assistance in repatriating our students from Vietnam. CHED and DOLE are continuously cooperating to provide the necessary assistance to returning student interns and scholars,” he said.
The six student interns from CavSU, De Vera added, will be able to go back to their residence and do their quarantine there, while the remaining 13 students from PSU and IfSU will have to be quarantined in Metro Manila.
“CavSU students reached Cavite, which is near the airport while those from Ifugao cannot go home due to the lockdown. There are no flights to Palawan,” the higher education chief explained.
Prior to this, an initial batch of 13 student interns from Vietnam and Japan was successfully repatriated last March, De Vera added.
The CHED chairman also assured that the respective universities will pay for the students’ hotel and food while in quarantine.
“There are still many Filipino students abroad who are planning to go home in the next three months. CHED will continue to work with other government agencies to bring them home to their families,” he added.#