OFW bodies up for repatriation down to 274

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    FROM 301, deceased overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that need to be brought home from Saudi Arabia are down to 274, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.

    In a televised press briefing on Wednesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said 27 bodies have either been buried in Saudi Arabia or have been brought home by their families.

    “We are talking only of 274. By July 4, we should have brought them home already.

    Otherwise, the Saudi government will already have them buried there,” said Bello.

    The department earlier said that 301 OFW bodies are set to be flown home, including 152 who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and 149 who died of natural causes.

    Among the 152 COVID fatalities, Bello said 23 have been buried in Saudi Arabia while 4 who didn’t die from COVID have been repatriated.

    This leaves 145 OFWs who died either from illness or accidents in Saudi Arabia that have to be brought home.

    Bello said the government is determined to meet the deadline set by the Saudi government.

    “We are doing our best so that we can meet all the requirements and protocols and bring them all home by July 4,” said Bello.