Bello announces repatriation of over 1K OFWs from Qatar
More than 1,000 distressed overseas Filipino workers in Qatar are set to be repatriated starting Aug. 12, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Tuesday.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the OFWs will fly home in three batches via chartered flights arranged by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Doha.
The 1,062 OFWs are wards at the halfway house in the capital, and stranded and displaced workers due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 19) pandemic.
“The first batch of 354 repatriates will be home tomorrow (Wednesday). And we are thankful to the government of Qatar for allowing the chartered flights to bring home our dear modern-day heroes,” Bello said.
The second batch with 354 returning Filipinos will arrive on August 19 while the third batch with the same number of OFWs are set to return on August 26.
Bello said all three chartered flights of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) are funded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
The DOLE has already assisted in the repatriation of 2,327 OFWs since the onset of the global pandemic this year, according to records of POLO-Qatar.
Last June, a total of 277 distressed Filipino workers were sent home from North Africa.
The repatriates, including OFW dependents from Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria, were flown in via a special flight of PAL.
The repatriated OFWs were employed in the oil industry and medical establishments, some finished their contracts, while most were displaced by the temporary shutdown of companies due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The same repatriation missions have been conducted by the DOLE in Middle East for stranded and distressed OFWs through the POLOs utilizing the assistance and repatriation funds of OWWA. (PNA)