The first batch of the remains of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be repatriated from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is set to arrive on Friday, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced on Wednesday.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the schedule of the arrival of the bodies of Filipino workers will be at 9:15 a.m. of July 10.
“We are bringing home 44 OFWs, 19 of which died of Covid-19 while the rest died of natural causes,” Bello said in a virtual press conference.
Bello said while they would like to repatriate more OFWs’ remains, the charter flight can only accommodate a limited number of bodies.
“The Philippine Airlines (PAL) charter flight can only accommodate 44 bodies the repatriation is continuing until we bring them all home,” he added.
A total of 274 bodies of deceased OFWs are awaiting repatriation to the Philippines.
“We will see to it that we will bring them home because they deserve to be buried in their homeland after all they are our modern-day heroes,” he said.
Meanwhile, another batch consisting of 44 bodies will arrive early next week.
“Actually, they will leave on Sunday and will arrive here on Monday,” Bello said.
He added that they have coordinated with 15 crematoriums where the remains will be brought as soon as these arrive in the country.
Last week, Riyadh has extended the deadline for Manila to repatriate the remains of the OFWs, otherwise, they will be buried in the kingdom. (PNA)