Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
The free repatriation of Filipinos continues. A Joint Advisory from the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi (AUHPE) and the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCGDXB) has identified the schedules of the Philippine Air Lines chartered flights.
Excluding the “already fully booked” July 12 (Monday) flight, the other schedules of the Filipino taxpayers’-funded repatriation programme are July 17 (Saturday), July 27 (Tuesday), and July 30 (Friday).
Signed by both Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana and Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund P. Cortes, the joint advisory released on July 4 (Sunday), maintains that priority are the “medical patients with no health insurance, the trimester pregnant with no health insurance, families with children, and those with expired/expiring visas with no financial capability to apply for temporary visas.”
On Monday, Cortes explained to Gulf Today the repatriation procedure as applicants must state their full interest and desperate need for repatriation by either emailing https://abudhabipe.dfa.gov.ph/atn-services or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants receive a reply that mentions their interview appointment date either at the AUHPE or the PCGDXB: “We clean the list per those with medical conditions, pregnancies, families with children, those with looming overstaying fines.”
Cortes clarified that the July 12 repatriation schedule had been determined for the assessed applicants from Abu Dhabi and the Western Region.
He said that each chartered flight accommodates 350; 200 allocated for the applicants in Dubai and the Northern Emirates as the remaining 150 for those in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region.
As of 5 p.m. on July 4, total number of repatriation applicants from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, as recorded by the PCGDXB-Assistance to Nationals Section, was at 3,100.
This was an addition of 300 from the 2,800 Cortes had updated Filipino journalists on June 29 (Tuesday).
That was the eve of the second repatriation held evening of June 30 (Wednesday) wherein 108 were expectant mothers.
Cortes on Monday termed the number of awaiting repatriates as “overwhelming,” majority from Dubai.
A factor that increased the numbers was the off-and-on travel ban imposed by the Duterte Administration in the past several months as recommended by the Philippines’ Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases that judiciously studies and reviews the spread of the SARS-CoV2. Until July 15 (Thursday), no incoming flights from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Oman and the UAE are permitted to enter the Philippines. On June 29, the travel ban had been reiterated with Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, saying: “This is a proactive measure amid the implementation of international border control because of the COVID19 Delta variant.” However, the repatriation flights from the UAE continues.
It was on June 17 (Tuesday) when the Philippine missions in the UAE, assisted by the two Philippine Overseas Labour Offices in the capital and Dubai resumed the repatriation programme, channeled through Manila’s Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs.
This was made possible by the release of more funds by way of the “Bayanihan 2 (Unity/Cooperation) to Recover as One Act” allowing various public offices and agencies continually pursue and carry our COVID19 socio-economic counter-measures.
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