The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. has repatriated 30 Filipinos in Haiti as social unrest continues to grip the Caribbean state since 2018.
The 30 Filipinos, composed of nine minors and 21 adults, are scheduled to arrive in Manila on Thursday, January 16.
The Filipino community in Haiti petitioned the said repatriation due to the unstable economic and security situations in the country, caused by continuous civil unrest, crime, and kidnapping. Most of the minor repatriates will continue their studies in the Philippines.
The repatriates were divided into two groups – the Philippine Airlines group which is composed of 17 repatriates, and the Asiana Airlines group which is composed of 13 repatriates.
A team from the Embassy, led by Deputy Chief of Mission Renato Pedro Villa and Assistance-to-Nationals Officer Ryan Dasal, facilitated the repatriation from January 11-14.
Camilo Duran, one of the repatriates, thanked President Rodrigo Duterte as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs for providing financial assistance.
He also thanked Haiti and the Haitians who provided them with employment and shelter during their stay.
In a separate statement, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said ensuring the safety and well-being of overseas Filipinos remains a top priority of the Philippine Government.
“The Philippine Embassy, along with the Philippine Consulates General and Honorary Philippine Consulates in the United States and in the Caribbean, are always here to listen and provide assistance to our kababayans as the need arises,” he said.
Haiti has faced sporadic and sometimes violent protests in Port au Prince and throughout the country since July 2018.
A notable increase in civil unrest in the latter part of 2019 was also reported as demonstrators continued to rally against the increased cost of petrol products, the high cost of life and corruption allegations. (PNA)