The first batch of Filipino repatriates from China is set to arrive in the country this week amid the difficulties in repatriating Filipino seafarers stranded in ships in other countries, said the Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday.
According to DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, the agency is now coordinating with China on getting home a group of Filipino seamen stranded off Dongshan, Zhangzhou City as the country has yet to allow foreigners to disembark as a precaution against COVID-19.
“Ang nagiging challenge namin dito sa mga nasa Dongshan ay ito po kasing China ay hindi pa po nagpapababa. Bawal pa po ang foreigners na pumasok ng China,” he told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
“May inaayos na po kami na repatriation flight para sa darating na linggo sana po masama na sila doon. Patuloy po ang pakikipag-ugnayan natin sa China para lang payagan sila mag-disembark,” he added.
The DFA earlier used a ship to gather a batch of Filipino seafarers who were also stranded and brought them home to the Philippines, he added.
“Ito po kasi nasa ibang lugar sila at nahirapan po kami na madala po ‘yung vessel, ayaw pong gumalaw ng vessel sa meeting point kaya ang ginawa po ng aming konsulada po doon nagpadala ng grocery,” he said.
Based on the report, a total of 200,431 OFWs have been repatriated as of September 13 and another 80,000 are expected to go home within the year, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said.
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