171 Filipinos flown home from Myanmar, Cambodia

By: Christia Marie Ramos – Reporter / @CMRamosINQ

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 171 Filipinos from Myanmar and Cambodia affected by travel restrictions due to the pandemic were flown home to the Philippines on Wednesday.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the government-chartered flight that flew home flew home 115 Filipinos who boarded from its stop in Yangon and 56 from Phnom Penh arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The repatriation was part of the government’s assistance to Filipinos stranded abroad by pandemic travel restrictions, the DFA said in a statement.

The DFA said it funded the chartered flight through its Assistance to Nationals (ATN) fund.

“The DFA stands ready to assist our overseas Filipinos who remain affected by COVID-19 restrictions in their host countries,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

As of March 13, the DFA has repatriated 387,606 overseas Filipinos since it first started repatriating Filipinos affected by the pandemic in February 2020.

The Philippine Embassy in Myanmar, the DFA said, provided transportation and accommodation assistance for 16 Filipinos who had traveled from cities 620 to 990 kilometers outside Yangon to join the flight and assisted another one in paying overstaying fees.

The 115 Filipinos from Myanmar included 60 males, 55 females, 10 senior citizens and 3 infants, according to the DFA.

Meanwhile, the 56 repatriates from Cambodia included two infants and a medical case, who was evacuated through a stretcher.

The Philippine Embassy in Phnom Penh negotiated with Cambodian authorities for the waiver of a repatriate’s overstay fees in time for the flight, the DFA said.

From their ports of departure in Yangon and Phnom Penh, the repatriates were briefed by the respective Philippine embassy personnel on arrival and quarantine protocols in the Philippines.

They will undergo quarantine procedures as required of all travelers arriving in the country, the DFA added.“A year after we first started COVID-19-related repatriations, the Department remains fully committed to ensuring that distressed Filipinos overseas have the option to come home through these flights arranged by the Department and its Foreign Service Posts in coordination with foreign governments,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Arriola said.

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