128 distressed Filipinos in UAE back in PH – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 28, 2020   •   250

MANILA, Philippines – More than 100 distressed overseas Filipino workers repatriated from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have arrived in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said the 128 Filipinos, comprised of 115 individuals from Abu Dhabi and 13 from Dubai, arrived in Manila on Monday morning, January 27.

Before the distressed Filipinos left for Manila, the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi urged them to spread the word on the dangers and hardships they encountered to prevent other Filipinos from experiencing the same fate.

“While we welcome the safe return of our distressed kababayans, we also make an appeal to everyone to be mindful of the dangers of human trafficking and to stay away from illegal recruiters,” DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said.

The DFA said it shouldered the maintenance and operating costs of the shelters in the UAE where most of the repatriated Filipinos were previously accommodated.

They were also issued travel documents free of charge, paid for their exit visas and related costs, as well as their airfares and transportation up to their respective home provinces.

The department also assured that distressed Filipinos needing legal assistance in the UAE were provided legal advice.

The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and its member agencies, such as the Bureau of Immigration, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, also welcomed the repatriates at the airport.

TESDA representatives were also present to provide information on free skills training programs.

The DFA said that since the start of the year, 265 distressed Filipinos were repatriated by the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi while the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai has repatriated 150 Filipinos.

Online art exhibition launched to support Filipino artists affected by pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 16, 2020

An online art exhibition was launched by the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt to support Filipino artists affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

A total of 31 art pieces from various artists were featured in the online exhibit. Consul General Evelyn D. Austria Garcia called on Filipino-Germans to lend their support to Filipino artists especially in these unprecedented times.

“It is vital that we recognize and protect the work of our artists both for their economic well-being and for the preservation of a part of our culture,” she said.

PH Consulate General in Frankfurt Conducts Online Art Exhibition in Support of Filipino Artists Affected by the…

Posted by Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines on Monday, September 14, 2020

The online exhibition entitled, “Envisioning Healing and Inspiration from Abroad: Overseas Filipinos Supporting Filipino Artists in Times of Pandemic,” featured the artwork of self-taught Filipino artists from Transwing Art Gallery. The online art exhibition was launched last September 11. AAC

Repatriated OFWs due to COVID-19 outbreak exceeds 174k – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The number of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) repatriated due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has reached more than 174,000, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement on Sunday, the DFA said it brought home 9,671 OFWs last week, bringing the total to 174,039 since it began its repatriation efforts in February 2020.

Of the total number, 61,716 are sea-based workers while 112,323 are land-based, the agency added.

“The DFA remains relentless in facilitating more flights, particularly from the Middle East. This week, the DFA brought home more than 7,500 of our nationals from the said region via 27 special commercial repatriation flights,” it said.

The department said 11 of these flights were from the United Arab Emirates, seven from Saudi Arabia, four form Qatar, three from Bahrain, and one each from Kuwait and Oman.

“The return of Filipino seafarers also continues as the DFA facilitated the repatriation of more than 2,800 sea-based workers, including a Filipino fisherman who drifted to the waters of Central Sulawesi in April 2020,” it said.

The DFA added that it also extended assistance to “a cancer patient who finally arrived home in Manila on board a special commercial repatriation flight from Thailand last Wednesday.”

In a separate statement on Sunday, the department said the patient was among the 76 Filipinos brought home from Thailand on Wednesday.

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

Remains of two Filipino fatalities in Abu Dhabi blast set for repatriation — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday (September 10) reported that the remains of the two Filipinos who died in the gas leak explosion on August 31 in Abu Dhabi, UAE are now being prepared for repatriation to the Philippines.

The repatriation was set after all matters were cleared by authorities. 

Meanwhile, embassy officials and DFA regional representatives along with personnel from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are now working closely with the families for the acceptance of the remains.

The DFA-DOLE composite team recently visited one of the families in their hometown, while Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana met with the widow and brother of the other deceased Filipino in Abu Dhabi, the DFA said.

The embassy arranged the viewing of the remains by family members, and is currently monitoring discussions between the families of the deceased and their employers. The families are also being assisted in the processing of the death benefits they will be receiving from the Philippine government.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Quintana spoke by phone to a Filipino survivor who was injured from the accident and now recovering well in the hospital.

The embassy expressed gratitude to the UAE government for ensuring that the affected Filipinos are cared for. 

The embassy also thanked members of the Filipino community whose prayers and expressions of support lent healing and comfort to the families of the victims.

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