COVID-19 and OFWs: Over 90,000 Filipinos Return From Abroad

The number of overseas Filipino workers who have returned home has reached 90,497 after 11,688 additional Filipinos arrived in the Philippines were added to the figure, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

Of this number, 40,540 are sea-based while 49,957 are land-based, with the most recent repatriates arriving from the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

The DFA said it facilitated this week some 31 flights from the Middle East and brought home more than 8,500 OFWs. Seafarers from Canada, Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Pakistan, Singapore and the US have also returned to the Philippines.

“The DFA, together with its Philippine embassies and consulates around the world, remains fully committed to bringing home our nationals abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” the agency said in a statement.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) earlier sought additional funding worth P2.5 billion to help OFWs displaced by the COVID-19.

The agency has provided returning OFWs with a one-time $200 (P10,000) cash assistance as part of its Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program, according to ABS-CBN News.

The DOLE was already given P2.5 billion to finance its AKAP program, which is expected to benefit 250,000 OFWs.

As of July 4, the agency received some 551,606 aid applications from both land-based and sea-based workers, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement.

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