MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Friday the July 4 deadline for the repatriation of the remains of 274 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia had been extended to early next week.
In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Riyadh has given Manila extra time to bring home the bodies.
“The July 4 deadline has been extended to early next week for us to fly home our beloved modern-day heroes,” he said.
He added that the delay in the efforts to bring home the remains of Filipino workers from the kingdom is due to several factors.
“We regret to announce that the repatriation of the remains of our dear OFWs from Saudi Arabia is being delayed due to the pending release of documentary requirements, and our common desire to strictly adhere to the health protocols in transporting them,” he added.
On Wednesday, Bello said they are looking to bring home the bodies of over 200 OFWs who have died of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and other natural causes by Saturday.
Out of the 274, 129 workers died of Covid-19 while the remaining 145 died of natural causes.
Riyadh earlier set the Saturday deadline for Manila to bring home the bodies, otherwise, it will be the Saudi government that will bury the OFWs. (PNA)