The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah successfully repatriated a total of 344 Filipinos based in Jeddah and other parts of the Western Region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on June 17, 2020 via a chartered Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight.
The repatriates were among the hundreds of OFWs who were economically displaced and got stranded in the Kingdom because of the COVID-19 crisis that continues to ravage the Saudi economy. The group included 76 former Filipino household service workers who sought temporary shelter at the Consulate General’s Bahay Kalinga while the office of the Philippine Labor Attaché in Jeddah (POLO-Jeddah) tried to settle their labor concerns with their former employers.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., approved the said chartered flight as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ firm commitment to bring home overseas Filipinos who would like to be repatriated amidst the economic crisis that many labor-receiving countries are currently experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let’s bring them home and leave no one behind,” said Secretary Locsin even as the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah and the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh continue to receive urgent requests for assistance from other OFWs in the Kingdom who would also like to be repatriated. Following the Secretary’s instructions, the Consulate General immediately coordinated with the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs headed by Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. Arriola for the flight arrangements with PAL.
The Consulate General and POLO-Jeddah are planning another chartered flight sometime in July to repatriate more stranded Filipinos in Jeddah and the Western Region of KSA.