Nearly 200,000 migrant workers from the Philippines have been sent home after getting laid off due to the lingering effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, local media reported.
The country’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Sunday that 9,574 overseas workers had been repatriated recently, bringing the total number migrants returned home due to the pandemic to 195,224, according to the Philstar daily on Monday.
In a report, the newspaper said there were 2.2 million migrant workers recorded as of 2018, the last year that the data was available. This indicates that 8.9 percent of migrant workers abroad had been flown back to Manila.
“This week, two DFA-chartered flights from Saudi Arabia brought home 711 overseas Filipinos. Among them was Rose Policarpio whose acquittal from murder charges was secured through the DFA’s steadfast assistance,” the daily quoted the agency’s statement as saying.
According to the report, 317 migrants were repatriated this week, including 12 children, who flew in from Lebanon on Saturday.
“They joined the DFA-chartered Philippine Airlines flight, which also brought 5,000 boxes of relief goods for the Filipino community in Lebanon and medical supplies for Lebanese beneficiaries,” the agency said.
“The DFA remains fully committed to its Assistance-to-Nationals mandate and its daily repatriation efforts in this ongoing battle against COVID-19 pandemic,” it added.
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