Department of Labor and Employment
June 26, 2020
Preps underway for repat of dead OFWs from Saudi
The labor department has stepped up preparations for the repatriation of the remains of 301 overseas Filipino workers who died from various causes in several regions of Saudi Arabia, the agency reported on Friday.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III assured families of the unfortunate OFWs that the bodies will be flown home by early next month after he was able to secure the approval of the Inter Agency Task Force for the repatriation of even the 152 OFWs who succumbed to Covid-19.
Bello said part of the preparations is the set of protocols from the Department of Health for the handling, reception and domestic transport of the dead Covid victims and the 149 non-Covid casualties. He said the three Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) will have to abide by the strict guidelines of both the Saudi and Philippine governments in the transport of the remains.
Based on initial preparations, two chartered planes will separately fly the Covid dead and those who died of non-Covid causes. The bodies will be transported from various points to Riyadh and Jeddah, and will be flown back to the country by the second week of July.
DOLE will notify the families of the arrival of the remains of their loved ones, along with their respective local government units to allow their domestic transport.
Upon arrival in the country, the bodies of Covid 19 victims will be transported with the help of the Department of National Defense directly to the crematoriums of choice of the family or the LGU.
The remains of those who died of natural or other causes, meanwhile, will be allowed to be fetched at the airport by their respective families. ###