Dubai: About 350 Filipinos were repatriated by Philippine missions in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, despite the Philippine government’s continued travel restrictions on passengers from seven countries, including the UAE, until June 30. Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes told Gulf News that repatriation flights were not affected by travel routes imposed due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. Those repatriated were given free tickets under the Bayanihan to recover as one law (Law 11519 in the Philippine Republic). The repatriation flight was jointly coordinated by the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai. The returning Philippines has flight 8659, a chartered flight from Philippine Airlines (PAL), arranged by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. Those who had a problem during the pandemic, patients with medical emergencies, children and pregnant women, were also included in the repatriation process.
Ruby, who was seven months pregnant, said she was happy to be admitted on the special flight. ‘All commercial flights have been canceled until 30 June and my doctor advised me not to travel beyond 23 June for safety reasons. “I was able to meet the deadline,” she told Gulf News.
Cortes said: “The Philippine missions in the UAE are constantly receiving requests for repatriation and will work on them, in line with the government’s efforts to combat the pandemic. Those wishing to avail of government assistance to return to the Philippines can email the consulate at email@example.com. We will always help our kababayane in the most efficient way, ”he added. Meanwhile, a PAL official in Dubai said a repatriation flight arranged by a private company for stranded seafarers would leave Dubai on June 23.