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Coronavirus Pandemic

382 Filipinos in UAE to fly home on first chartered flight

Kirstin Bernabe-Santos/Dubai
Filed on June 15, 2020 | Last updated on June 15, 2020 at 06.50 am
covid-19, coronavirus, repatriation, UAE, Philippines, Dubai, Paul Raymund Cortes
File photo taken from a repatriation in April.


Some of the passengers are expats who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

Some 382 Filipinos in the UAE are set to fly home this midnight on the first chartered flight sponsored by the Philippine government, a top envoy said. 

The passengers are booked for a Cebu Pacific flight to Manila, departing from Dubai International Airport's Terminal 2 at 12.10am on Monday, June 15, according to Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes.  

"The 382 (people) will be composed of passengers from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with about 80 per cent from Dubai," Cortes said.

Many of the passengers are visit-visa-holders who have been stranded in the country, while others are expats who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.  Some pregnant women will also be on the flight. 

Back in April and May, over a hundred Filipinos were also repatriated with government-sponsored tickets for a number of special flights. In early April, the missions have helped about 415 stranded seafarers go home. 

The Philippine government has been calling on Filipinos badly hit by the pandemic to return to the country, assuring that they could facilitate repatriation.

"If you really find it difficult to live overseas, we are ready to bring you home," Sarah Lou Arriola, undersecretary for the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said in a previous OFW Help Live session.

"This is an open invitation to overseas Filipinos, documented or not, to come home. You can return abroad later." 

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