Over 450,000 overseas Filipinos repatriated since Feb. 2020

Published January 23, 2022, 4:27 PM

by Betheena Unite

More than 450,000 overseas Filipinos have been repatriated from various countries since the government started bringing back distressed Filipinos abroad due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in 2020.

(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola disclosed that a total of 456,223 overseas Filipinos have returned to the Philippines through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)-facilitated repatriation program since February 2020.

“This repatriation program began in February 2020 with the first repatriation flight from Wuhan,” Arriola said.

The total repatriated nationals consist of 350,604 land-based overseas Filipinos and 105,619 seafarers.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., on the other hand, assured that they are extending assistance to stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) amid the travel restrictions enforced due to the new surge of COVID-19 infections.

Locsin also expressed appreciation on the public’s “repeated heads up” to the department on those who need help abroad.

“We’re doing it; but thanks for the repeated heads up; we always appreciated your alerts and preliminary help; not least tracking down those who slipped through our fingers,” the DFA chief said.

The latest batch of overseas Filipinos to return to the country was the 59 Filipino seafarers and tourists who arrived on Jan. 19 from Spain.

According to the DFA, the seafarers and tourists were stranded in Spain following the latter’s inclusion in the red list countries of the Philippines on Dec. 31.

READ MORE: Pinoy seafarers, tourists return home after being stranded in Spain

 
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