DFA repatriates 13 seafarers stranded in Amsterdam

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com
DFA repatriates 13 seafarers stranded in Amsterdam
The Philippine Embassy in The Hague extends assistance to a total of 13 Filipino seafarers who were stranded in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport due to the cancellation of their flights to Manila.
Philippine Embassy in The Hague

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign affairs on Thursday said that 13 Overseas Filipino Workers who were stranded in Amsterdam's Schiphol have been repatriated.

The seafarers were stranded on June 15 but were allowed to fly back home the following day,

"After receiving information from the Filipino community about their situation, the [Philippine Embassy in the Netherlands] immediately sought assistance from the [DFA]...which coordinated with the government authorities in Manila to ensure the immediate repatriation of stranded seafarers. An Embassy personnel also visited the seafarers inside the airport to check on their situation and to extend financial assistance," DFA said in a statement.

However, the DFA's figures differ from labor group Migrante International which said on Monday that there were a total of 14 OFWs stranded at the Amsterdam airport — 13 seafarers and a domestic worker.

"Philippine authorities refused to allow them to fly back to Manila on the pretext that 'it already reached its quota'... [President Rodrigo] Duterte’s task force officials have recently restricted the entry quota of returning OFWs to 1,000 to 1,500 per day depending on the availability of quarantine facilities," the group said in a statement.

The DFA confirmed in their statement that the seafarers were "not able to board their flight to Manila due to the daily limit on passengers allowed to enter the Philippines."

A June 5 report on state-run Philippine News Agency quotes Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola as saying "the quota (for Overseas Filipino arrivals) will increase to 1,200 each day, so there will be more repatriates."

Despite the daily quota relayed by officials, the Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday announced that a total of 2,281 OFWs returned to the Philippines on Monday.





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