By: Neil Arwin Mercado – Reporter, INQUIRER.net / October 29, 2020
MANILA, Philippines — More than 111,000 Filipinos abroad are still expected to be repatriated to the Philippines by December this year as nations continue to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.
During the House committee’s online hearing on overseas workers’ affairs, DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said there are still 111,258 overseas Filipinos who are expected to return home by year-end.
“This might still increase, considering the amnesties in the countries of destination will lapse this November and December. Definitely, for Bahrain, it will lapse on December 31 and I think for UAE, it’s this coming November,” Arriola said.
For November, Arriola said DFA had scheduled chartered flights from Guang Zhou in China, Dili in Timor Leste, and Riyadh and Dammam in Saudi Arabia to bring home overseas Filipinos.
There will also be flights coming from Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, and Thailand.
Arriola said DFA has so far repatriated 233,742 overseas Filipinos, 76,556 are sea-based OFWs while 157,186 are land-based.
As of October 28, a total of 11,224 Filipinos abroad have contracted the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Of this number, 7,254 have recovered, 3,153 are undergoing treatment, and 817 have died.
Most of the cases are in the Middle East and Africa at 7,380; followed by the Asia Pacific Region at 1,798 cases; Europe at 1,230 cases; and Americas at 816 cases. #