No one will be left behind, PH envoy assures OFWs

MANILA – Philippine Special Envoy to the Kingdom of Bahrain Robert E.A. Borje assured Friday that all Filipinos, regardless of their status, would not be left behind by President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration as it continues to provide assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Speaking before 234 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who arrived from the Kingdom of Bahrain and United Arab Emirates at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on January 1, Borje, who is also Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Chief of Protocol, conveyed Duterte’s message of appreciation and concern for OFWs.

The 234 repatriates included three abandoned minors, several detainees who had been imprisoned in Dubai, wards and their minor children from the shelters of the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General in Dubai.

Borje, who led the 14-man Philippine delegation, was joined in the chartered flight for OFWs by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Arriola and Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary for Global Media and Public Affairs JV Arcena.

The flight was the 60th chartered flight arranged by the Department of Foreign Affairs as part of the Duterte administration’s “Kalinga at Malasakit” for OFWs amid the pandemic.

The government has taken intensified efforts, such as the Assistance to Nationals and repatriation programs, to ensure the welfare of the OFWs.

Those awaiting repatriation were affected by lockdowns and unavailable commercial flights, as well as those whose work contracts have expired.

More than 320,000 Filipinos overseas have been repatriated since Covid-19 broke out.

With the OFWs ringing in the new year mid-flight on the way back to Manila, Borje reassured the repatriates of the President’s and the government’s continued commitment to serve and ensure their well-being.

He expressed hope that the repatriation flight’s arrival on the first day of 2021 would gain special meaning and significance as it also represented a new life and new opportunities back home for the passengers.

REASSURANCE. Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Chief of Presidential Protocol Robert E.A. Borje (left) conveys President Rodrigo Duterte’s message of appreciation and concern for OFWs during the arrival of 234 overseas Filipino workers from the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday (Jan. 1, 2021). With Borje is Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Arriola. (Presidential photo)

The repatriation mission capped the four-day official visit to Manama, Bahrain that was spearheaded by Borje as the President’s special envoy to the kingdom and highlighted by the audience granted by the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

A courtesy call was granted by Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifah Al Khalifa while meetings were conducted with Foreign Minister, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Interior to discuss migrant workers’ rights, efforts to address the pandemic, and expand the two countries’ cooperation in other areas of mutual interest, including trade and investment. (PR)

Source: Philippines News agency

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