The Department of Foreign Affairs, through its Philippine Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar and its Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs, facilitated its 14th coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) relief flight from Myanmar on Wednesday, bringing home 55 overseas Filipinos.
The repatriates were flown home by a Myanmar National Airlines flight, arranged since Jan. 15 with the cooperation of Myanmar authorities. The flight arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at 1:25 p.m.
Most overseas Filipinos who joined the flight were self-paying passengers, while two repatriates were directly assisted by the Philippine government by shouldering their overstaying fees and tickets.
“The DFA through its network of 94 Philippine Embassies and Consulates General across the globe is always ready to assist our overseas Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in their host countries,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. said in a statement.
The Philippine government has consistently arranged flights for its citizens abroad, especially those whose travel plans have been affected by travel restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Wherever they are, if they are distressed Filipinos overseas, the Department can make use of the Assistance-to-Nationals Fund including the Legal Assistance Fund to provide timely and proactive service to overseas Filipinos in need,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.
As of Feb. 20, the DFA has now brought home a total of 368,736 overseas Filipinos since it started its Covid-19-related repatriations a year ago. (PNA)