The remains of the fourth batch of dead overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Saudi Arabia arrived in the country Friday.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the remains of the 72 deceased OFWs were flown in via Philippine Airlines chartered flight PR 8683.
Among those whose remains were repatriated, 62 succumbed to Covid-19 related diseases while 10 died of other causes.
Forty of the repatriated remains came from Al Khobar, 17 from Jeddah and 15 from Riyadh.
According to DOLE, three more bodies of OFWs from Riyadh, that were not accommodated in the chartered flight, were also brought home yesterday on board a commercial PAL flight.
The Labor department added that the three OFWs died of non-Covid causes.
“This brings to 267 the total human remains of OFWs repatriated from the KSA, including the first three batches brought home in July,” said DOLE in a statement.
From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City, the remains classified as Covid cases were immediately brought to nearby crematoriums while the rest were transported to their respective provinces at government expense.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the massive repatriation of OFWs —living or deceased — amid the global health crisis is more than a duty of the government.
“We’re doing this not just because it’s our duty. This is the government’s way of paying respect and giving recognition to our modern day heroes’ valuable contributiion to the growth of the Filipino families and the country,” he said.
Key government officials led by Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano, former labor secretary Marianito Roque representing Bello, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Leo Cacdac led the welcome ceremonies for the deceased modern day heroes.