72 more OFW casualties repatriated – DOLE

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The massive repatriation of overseas Filipino workers — dead or alive–amid the global health crisis is more than a duty of the government, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Friday.


“We’re doing this not just because it’s our duty. This is the government’s way of paying respect and giving recognition to our modern day heroes’ valuable contribution to the growth of the Filipino families and the country,” – sec. Bello

Bello made the statement as officials held state welcome for 72 dead OFWs from Saudi Arabia on Friday, the fourth batch to be repatriated from the kingdom since July. A majority of those flown home yesterday died of Covid.

“We’re doing this not just because it’s our duty. This is the government’s way of paying respect and giving recognition to our modern day heroes’ valuable contribution to the growth of the Filipino families and the country,” Bello said.

Of those repatriated, 62 succumbed to Covid related diseases while 10 died of other causes. They were flown in via Philippine Airlines chartered flight PR 8683.

Of the repatriated remains, 40 came from Al Khobar, 17 from Jeddah and 15 from Riyadh.


This brings to 267 the total human remains of OFWs repatriated from the KSA, including the first three batches brought home in July.

Three more bodies of OFWs from Riyadh, that were not accommodated in the chartered flight, were brought home also yesterday on board a commercial PAL flight. They died of non-Covid causes.

This brings to 267 the total human remains of OFWs repatriated from the KSA, including the first three batches brought home in July.

From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City, the remains classified as Covid cases were immediately brought to nearby crematoriums while the rest were transported to their respective provinces at government expense.

Key government officials led by Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano, former labor secretary Marianito Roque representing Bello, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Leo Cacdac led the welcome ceremonies for the deceased modern day heroes.

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