AMBASSADOR to Oman Narciso Castañeda on Tuesday told the “Laging Handa” public briefing that 279 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were flown home last week on board the first repatriation flight approved by the Omani government.
A second Manila-bound flight is scheduled July 1 as the diplomatic office seeks to speed up the return of stranded Filipinos, many of whom lost their jobs due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy of the sultanate.
“We have been coordinating with our government and the government of Oman to speed things up in securing approval so our countrymen can go home to their families,” the ambassador said.
He added that more flights are necessary to bring home displaced OFWs.
“We are trying to schedule two or three flights per month hopefully so we’ll be able to reduce the number of our ‘kababayans’ who are willing to go home and escape the problems of COVID here in terms of employment,” Castañeda said.
He added the number of Filipinos infected by the deadly virus remained low at 10 with just one death.
The other nine are still confined in hospitals although five are no longer in the intensive care unit while four were reported to be in better condition.
Based on figures from the World Health Organization, Oman has 38,150 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 163 fatalities so far.