About 100,000 Filipinos are expected to return to the country in the next two months after losing their jobs abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
This is in addition to the more than 102,000, mostly Filipino migrant workers, the government has already repatriated since February of this year.
“It’s the biggest repatriation ever in our history, possibly the biggest repatriation anywhere, of any country, in the world,” said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., in an interview on a Facebook Watch program titled “Usapang CQ” (Discussion on CQ) on Friday night.
“If you have lost your jobs and you need to come home, I’m going to use my entire budget to bring you home,” he said, addressing Filipinos overseas who may have been displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DFA reported that from February this year to up to July 25, or roughly five months, it repatriated 102,519 Filipinos overseas.
The last mass repatriation of this magnitude took place in 1991 when 20,000 to 30,000 were evacuated from Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East during the First Gulf War.
“The rest of the world is astonished at the scale and success of our repatriation. It’s never been done before,” Locsin said.
“Usually foreign governments would say [to their nationals who are staying overseas], ‘Well, they’re abroad, that’s their problem.’ Well, not us, we brought them home—and they cannot believe it. The International Organization for Migration said, ‘You are the model of the world.’ That’s not BS.” (Source: INQUIRER.net)