The remains of 35 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWS) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were flown home on Tuesday.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said the remains arrived at 9:56 a.m. at the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
In a Facebook post, DoLE said the fifth batch of the mass repatriation of fallen heroes included 12 remains from Jeddah, 21 from Al Khobar, and two from Riyadh.
The labor department said of those repatriated, 30 succumbed to COVID-19 related diseases, while five died of other causes.
The fifth batch of remains of OFWs was also received by top government officials.
Last month, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the massive repatriation of OFWs, dead or alive, 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 contribution to the growth of the Filipino families and the country,” he said.
The latest arrival of the remains of OFWs brings to 302 the total number of repatriated remains of OFWs from Saudi Arabia covered by the repatriation program of the labor department through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Bello said the government will help the families of the said OFWs.
“Now that they’re gone because of the pandemic, it is the duty of the government to repay their contributions to our nation. The best way to do this is to take care of their loved ones they left behind,” he said.
Bello said survivors of OFWs who succumbed to the deadly virus are going to receive the full benefits from the government. They include the P120,000 bereavement and burial assistance, livelihood assistance, and P30,000 educational support for OFW children.