Filipina left jobless in Spain due to COVID-19 finally returns home

A Filipina worker in Spain, who lost her job in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, has finally returned home, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.

The DFA said Salvacion, not her real name, lost her job in Madrid when the Spanish government placed the country under a State of Alarm on March 13 due to the pandemic.

“With stringent lockdown measures put in place in the early stage of the pandemic, the OFW was not allowed by her employer to report for work. Without any known relatives in Spain and not enough savings, she approached the Philippine embassy to seek welfare assistance and discuss her possible repatriation,” the DFA said.

Salvacion had to stay indefinitely in Spain as travel remains restricted for the first half of the year.

She was able to leave Spain by the third quarter of 2020 after her documentation was finalized in Manila. The Philippine embassy in Madrid also extended assistance to enable her to return home.

Upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, she was met and assisted by the Airport Teams of the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the DFA said.

She was able to reunite with her family two days after obtaining her negative COVID-19 test result.

To date, a total of 977 migrant workers from Spain have been assisted by the Philippine embassy in Madrid. As of early September, more than 164,000 overseas Filipino workers have been brought home to be reunited with their families amid the pandemic.