Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
As the pandemic persists, Filipinos who have been contemplating or have been wishing to go back to their home country “for good” must make sure this is indeed their desire.
This is the advice of both the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai which released their “Joint Advisory” for COVID19 repatriation procedures on Monday afternoon.
It was on Monday too that Emirates Airlines announced its plans to expand the resumption of its flights which include Manila.
The advisory, majority of which is in the Filipino language, enumerates the procedures for those terminated by their employers; those in visit/tourist visas who have family, relatives and friends who could help them purchase their return tickets; and those in visit/tourist visas “who do not have any means at all.”
In the group Philippine Press WhatsApp interview, Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes said those in the third category—visit/tourist visa holders “who do not have any means at all”—are going to be helped financially through the Php1 billion (Dhs73,191,151.50) annual budget allocated to Manila’s Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs-Assistance to Nationals.
However, the advisory states that for those in the third category, “it would be a big help that before you seek assistance and guidance from either the embassy or the consulate general, you have fully decided to return to our country so that the money spent for your ticket would not be wasted and if possible be of more use to the needs of others and our country as a whole.”
The two missions also asked the third category people to be more patient and give the foreign service personnel, assigned to attend to their travel requirements including their flight schedules, enough time to complete all their requirements, considering “restrictions.”
The third category people are advised to raise their desire to be repatriated over <firstname.lastname@example.org or <email@example.com.
For those laid off, their repatriation expenditures must be shouldered by their employers in accordance to the UAE laws.
“The embassy is calling on the employers for their understanding and cooperation. (Both missions) are ready to assist all (their) compatriots and will do everything possible to help them weather this crisis.”
The visit/tourist visa holders who had been invited to the UAE by their families, relatives, friends and any sponsoring individuals should seek help for their return tickets from these.
As the Duterte Administration is determined to repatriate all distressed overseas Filipinos (OFs) as a result of the pandemic, the Philippine missions in the UAE are prioritising their countrymen on visit/tourist visas who do not have any means at all to go back home.
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