Bishops urge ‘extra vigilance’ among Filipinos overseas

By Leslie Ann Aquino

Saying the virus knows no boundaries, an official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) has asked Filipinos overseas to be "extra vigilant."

Bishop Ruperto Santos (CBCP / MANILA BULLETIN) Bishop Ruperto Santos

CBCP ECMI vice chairman Bishop Ruperto Santos issued the call as the total number of confirmed COVID- 19 cases among overseas Filipinos reached more than 5,000.

"It is (a) troubling and sad reality that (the) virus knows no boundaries. It is our common enemy whom we cannot see and thrives with the crowd," he said in an interview.

"All of us must be more careful, must be extra vigilant and should heed to our government authorities," added Santos.

The Balanga, Bataan prelate appealed to the government particularly to the Department of Foreign Affairs to "reach out, assist and extend more help to OFWs" amid the pandemic.

"Even far and abroad we have to look after them, and as Filipinos, we are the one who have to take good care of them," said Santos.

He said the CBCP ECMI also instructed Filipino chaplains to also assist the OFWs in their needs especially during this time.

"We, at CBCP ECMI, have asked our Filipino chaplains, aside from prayers, holy masses and counselling to help and assist for medications and repatriation," said Santos.

"In their needs our Filipino chaplaincies are their home, refuge and comforts," he added.

On Sunday, June 14, the DFA reported that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad is now at 5,541, with 22 new confirmed cases.