Close to 180 distressed Filipinos return home from Saudi Arabia, Europe

Published December 28, 2021, 3:51 PM

by Betheena Unite

Close to 180 distressed Filipinos from Saudi Arabia and other parts of Europe were recently brought back to the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

(Photo courtesy of Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah/DFA)

The nationals arrived in the country on Dec. 24 aboard a chartered flight initiated by the government, through the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah and the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh.

According to DFA, the passengers include minors, one infant, two pregnant women, one medical case, while the rest are distressed Filipinos from several foreign countries.

It was disclosed that many of the repatriates have been economically displaced due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The DFA further said that the chartered flight departed from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and went to Dubai to pick up distressed Filipinos from Europe, particularly those in European countries classified as COVID-19 “red” and “yellow” zones.

Before this batch, a total of 354 distressed and stranded overseas Filipinos were also repatriated from Saudi Arabia on Dec. 23.

READ MORE: 354 stranded OFWs return home for Christmas from Saudi Arabia

Consul General Edgar Tomas Auxilian assured the repatriates that “the Philippine government is doing its best to safely bring back home distressed overseas Filipinos who have lost their jobs in their host countries, or those who no longer have the means to return to the Philippines for good.”

Since 2020 when the pandemic struck the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, some 4,000 distressed Filipinos in Jeddah and the Western Region of Saudi Arabia have been successfully brought home to the Philippines through chartered airline flights.