11 August 2020, Dubai, UAE – The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi repatriated 342 Overseas Filipinos (OFs) on 10 August 2020 via Philippine Airlines flight PR 8659. The DFA-chartered flight departed Dubai at 11:45 PM (local time) and arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport the following day, 11 August, at 1:45 PM (Manila time).
Majority of the passengers on the said flight were those who availed of the UAE government’s amnesty for overstaying residence and tourist visa holders which was to end on 10 August 2020. Under the amnesty program, those whose residence or tourist visas which expired before 1 March, including those absconding cases, are permitted to leave the UAE, with all related fines waived. Meanwhile, tourist visa holders whose visas expired after 01 March 2020 took the opportunity to leave the country before the end of the grace period which ended on 10 August 2020. Many of them have been in distress due to loss of livelihood brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among those who availed of the repatriation assistance were a mother and her seven-year old son who were able to secure clearance to leave the country’s immigration just hours before the flight.
The passengers thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Department of Foreign Affairs always doing their utmost to help OFs in Dubai and the rest of the UAE whose lives have been significantly affected by the ongoing pandemic.
The said repatriation flight comes on the heels of another flight chartered by the Department of Foreign Affairs just five days before.
Philippine Consul General in Dubai and Northern Emirates Paul Raymund P. Cortes in a photo op with some oft the Filipinos repatriated on a DFA-chartered flight on 10 August 2020.
Passengers of the DFA-chartered flight at the check-in counter at Dubai Airport Terminal 3.