Nearly 300 Filipinos return home from North Africa—successfully completing one of the most complicated missions of the DFA

Photo by the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) brought home 280 Filipinos from Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia in its first repatriation from North Africa on June 22.

In its report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr, the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli, which oversaw the repatriation, said 227 FIlipinos from Algeria, 39 from Libya, and 15 from Tunisia, arrived in the evening of Monday, June 22 on board a Philippine Airlines flight from Tunis, the capital of Tunisia,

Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Elmer G. Cato said the repatriation, which was the result of the collaboration between the Embassy and employers, is the largest and most complicated mission thus far carried out by the DFA from North Africa since the 2014 conflict in Libya—citing that the repatriation took almost two months to execute because it involved coordination with employers and authorities in three countries.

Photo by the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli

On June 21, a PAL Boeing 777-300ER landed in Algiers to pick up 227 Filipino construction workers from Hyundai Engineering Corporation and Samsung Construction. It then proceeded to Tunis to pick up 39 Filipinos from Libya and 14 from Tunisia.

Photo by the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli

“This mission would not have been possible without the assistance of employers and the Libyan government and the support of the Home Office,” said Chargè d’Affaires Cato who also expressed appreciation for the assistance extended by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for the COVID-19 tests conducted on the Libyan and Tunisians repatriates.

“Consistent with the President’s promise to being our people home, this evening (June 22) we reunited 280 Filipinos with their loved ones in the Philippines,” Chargé d’Affaires Cato said.

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