More than 150 stranded overseas Filipinos were able to return home from Bahrain over the holidays, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
According to the DFA, the Philippine Embassy in the Kingdom of Bahrain facilitated the return of 152 stranded nationals, ending its 2021 Repatriation Program.
The stranded overseas Filipinos arrived in two batches on Dec. 20 and 31.
It was disclosed that the last batch of repatriates for the year included detainees, shelter wards, medical patients, and minors.
They were part of the flight where Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola and Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs and former Ambassador to Bahrain Alfonso A. Ver were onboard. The group celebrated New Year’s Eve on board Gulf Air flight GF 154 en route to Manila.
Arriola and Ver were in Bahrain to pay courtesy calls on their counterparts before meeting the Filipino community there.
Quarantine facilities were prepared for all returning passengers through the efforts of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the DFA said.
For 2021, a total of 628 stranded Filipinos in Bahrain were repatriated through the Embassy’s Repatriation Program. The Embassy shouldered the airfare, immigration penalties and other repatriation-related expenses of about half of the repatriates.