Over 7,000 Filipinos repatriated from Kuwait due to COVID-19 pandemicâ DFA
In this Sept. 6, 2020, photo, Filipinos being repatriated due to the COVID-19 pandemic are seen lining up outside an airport in Kuwait.

Over 7,000 Filipinos repatriated from Kuwait due to COVID-19 pandemic— DFA

(Philstar.com) - September 9, 2020 - 3:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — More than 7,000 Filipinos have been repatriated from Kuwait since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday. 

The agency in a press release logged 15 Kuwait Airways flights which have been chartered by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait since June 2020, the latest of which left for Manila on Sunday with 310 Filipinos onboard. 

The total number of Filipinos repatriated from Kuwait now stands at 7,116, DFA said. 

The department further reported that collaborative efforts between the Kuwait Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office have kept the cost of these flights minimal by asking recruitment agencies to shoulder the cost of one-way tickets for their Filipino workers. 

"The Embassy only paid for the tickets, through the DFA’s Assistance to Nationals (ATN) Fund, of those who literally had no resources left due to the COVID-19 lockdown," the agency clarified. 

"The Kuwaiti government also repatriated undocumented and distressed Filipinos from Kuwait, including those who took part in the amnesty program last April 2020, as part of its preventive measures against COVID-19," the department added. 

According to the DFA, 2,466 Filipinos flew home between March 25 and June 3, all at the expense of the Kuwaiti government. 

Latest data from the agency shows that 76.1% of repatriates, an overwhelming majority, in August came in from the Middle East. 

The foreign affairs department in a press release Sunday said it brought home 42,583 overseas Filipinos last month, bringing the total number of those repatriated to 164,368. — Bella Perez-Rubio

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