DFA flies home more than 600 OFWs from Kuwait

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MANILA, February 20, 2018 — In what could be considered one of the largest repatriations it has carried out in a single day, the Department of Foreign Affairs is flying home today more than 600 overseas Filipino workers who availed themselves of the amnesty program of the Kuwaiti Government.

The DFA said the repatriation of 610 Filipino workers being flown out of Kuwait today is also the biggest number to be flown home since it began its repatriation efforts nine days ago.

The latest batch will bring to 1,796 the total number of Filipino workers who have asked to be repatriated after availing themselves of an almost month-long amnesty program declared by the Kuwaiti Government.

“If I am not mistaken, our repatriation today could be among the largest if not the largest to be carried out in a single day in a non-conflict situation,” Ambassador Renato Villa said.

The envoy, who was involved in numerous repatriation efforts in the Middle East, said the only other large-scale repatriation that he could think of was the repatriation of around 700 Filipinos from conflict-torn Libya in 2014.

Ambassador Villa said 610 workers will depart Kuwait at 4 p.m. Tuesday and are expected to arrive in Manila at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Ambassador Villa said 430 passengers will be on board the mercy flight sent by Cebu Pacific while the remaining 180 will take Philippine Airlines.

“Among those flying home are 68 mothers and children and 12 wards rescued by the Embassy,” Ambassador Villa said.

The Embassy said it has processed 3,801 travel documents for workers since the amnesty period began. It expects more than 2,000 more to be repatriated in the next few days.

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