The Philippine Embassy in Seoul successfully repatriated 425 stranded Overseas Filipinos in South Korea to the Philippines via two special flights from Incheon International Airport through Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.
With the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and other Philippine government agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Manila International Airport Authorities (MIAA), the two special flights were arranged by the Philippine Embassy in Seoul in cooperation with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.
Philippine Embassy personnel sent off the departing Overseas Filipinos at the airport. Second Secretary and Consul Ella Karina Mitra, Welfare Officer Aniceta Deuna, and Assistant ATN Officer Denni Carlo Marnilego assisted the Filipino passengers who took the Korean Air flight, while Labor Attaché Ma. Celeste Valderrama and ATN Officer Glenn Corpin assisted those who took the Asiana Airlines flight. They briefed the departing passengers on the procedures for COVID-19 testing and quarantine upon their arrival in Manila and distributed vitamins and face masks, care of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).
Prior to their departure, the stranded Filipinos conveyed their profound gratitude to the Philippine government for arranging the special flights.
“Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyo galing po sa aming mga puso. Talagang masayang masaya po kami ngayon. Mabuhay po kayo! (Many, many thanks to you from our hearts. We’re really happy today!)” said Mr. Mapute, one of the many workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS) who joined the special flight.
Charge d’Affaires, a.i. (CDA) Christian L. De Jesus likewise thanked the departing overseas Filipinos for their trust in the Philippine government. CDA De Jesus also conveyed that the Embassy, together with the DFA and relevant Philippine government agencies are committed to bringing all stranded Filipinos home, “We will continue to work hard to extend vital assistance to our nationals here in South Korea, including arranging special passenger flights for our stranded kababayans so they can be reunited with their loved ones back home.“
To date, the Philippine Embassy in Seoul has facilitated the return of close to 700 Filipinos in South Korea, both residents and transiting passengers.