A TOTAL of 410 Filipinos were flown home from Beirut last July 12 aboard a Qatar Airways flight, the single largest mass repatriation flight in the history of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Philippine Embassy in Lebanon said many of those repatriated have spent years in Lebanon and have availed of the embassy’s free voluntary repatriation program that started last December.
“All their travel expenses such as airline tickets and immigration penalties were paid for by the embassy,” the embassy said, adding it will continue to cover the expenses of those who will continue to avail of the program.
Since December, 1,023 Filipinos in Lebanon have been repatriated to Manila, bringing the total number so far to 1,433.
The program was started by then Ambassador Bernardita Catalla who died last April 2 from complications arising from COVID-19.
The DFA yesterday said it has chartered a special flight to repatriate 354 Filipinos from Saudi Arabia.
The DFA has already repatriated 82,057 overseas Filipinos from 60 countries and 132 cruise ships since the outbreak of COVID-19. Of this, 43,749 are land-based workers while 38,308 are sea-based workers.