The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the government has facilitated the repatriation of more than 96,000 distressed overseas Filipinos since the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic broke out.
“Since the outbreak of the Covid-19, the DFA has been working day in, day out to assist our overseas Filipinos following the instruction of President Duterte to bring home any Filipino who wants to come home,” DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr said.
Locsin said of the 96,228 repatriated, 41,981 are seafarers and 54,247 are land-based Filipino workers who mostly lost their jobs overseas due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government will continue the repatriation efforts, Locsin said.
Locsin said the DFA did not ask for an additional budget to facilitate the repatriations. ” “We work with what we have. We are canceling all our repairs, all our retrofitting, all our capital outlay in order to use our money to bring our people home because that is what the president wants,” Locsin said.
National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government provides various forms of assistance to Filipinos overseas with the commitment to protect and ensure their welfare.