MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs ushered in the new year by repatriating 234 Filipinos from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain via a chartered Philippine Airlines flight that arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Manama on early Friday morning.
“We at DFA are humbled by this experience. It’s a different feeling altogether. We are grateful that we are given the opportunity to help bring home our kababayans especially at this time when everyone is looking forward to the new year and a new beginning,” said Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. Arriola who shared the repatriation flight from Manama.
The chartered sweeper flight Manila-Dubai-Manama-Manila, funded by the Bayanihan 2 augmentation of the Department of Foreign Affair’s Assistance to Nationals (ATN) Fund, brought home 121 from Dubai, 51 from Abu Dhabi and 62 from Manama.
The group also included special cases in need of immediate repatriation. There was one medical stretcher case, an amputee, and 23 infants, 14 of which were from the UAE, while the remaining nine were from Bahrain.
Members of a DFA team were on hand to help facilitate the arrival and smooth turnover of the special cases to appropriate health providers. An ambulance was also on standby to facilitate the transfer to the identified hospital.
“I extend my thanks to our foreign service posts, our people on the ground, members of other agencies and units who worked and are working hard to make this repatriation flight happen. On the side of the DFA, we will continue with our sworn duty and help our government towards national healing and recovery this 2021,” Arriola said.
The flight left for Dubai on Thursday morning and arrived in the UAE just before noon. It proceeded to Manama around 1:05 p.m. before landing in the city after a half-hour flight. The plane was on its way back to Manila around 3 p.m. (PR)