More than 9,500 overseas Filipinos were brought back to the country this week, bringing the total repatriates to 144,795 since February, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
A total of 9,505 overseas Filipinos arrived in the country this week. Of this figure, 55,159 or 38.1 percent are sea-based while 89,636 or 61.9 percent are land-based.
According to the Foreign Affairs department, most of the returning Filipinos this week were from the Middle East. A total of 7,787 overseas Filipinos from the region were brought back to the country through 25 special commercial repatriation flights and three DFA-chartered flights.
This week also marked the arrival of the first batch of repatriates from Lebanon, following the massive blasts in Beirut earlier this month.
A total of 85 migrant Filipinos from Kenya, Egypt, and Angola were also brought home this week.
More than 250 overseas Filipinos from Uzbekistan are on their way home and will be arriving tonight, August 22. This is the first repatriation flight for the Central Asia region where commercial flights are still currently suspended, the agency said.
“As air travel in certain places such as Sydney, Australia and Muscat, Oman continue to be limited, the DFA remains steadfast in bringing our countrymen home as it facilitated special commercial repatriation flights from these two cities this week,” the DFA said.
Meanwhile, with the bicameral conference committee’s approval of the P820-million augmentation of the DFA’s Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) Fund under the proposed Bayanihan 2 bill last Thursday, the DFA reassures overseas Filipinos of its sustained repatriation efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic.