MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is mounting a repatriation flight for stranded and distressed Filipinos in Italy and nearby states amid the current coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Wednesday.
“To stranded or distressed overseas Filipinos in Italy and nearby countries, DFA is mounting a repatriation flight to bring you home, the USD450,000 (or PHP23 million) charter costs courtesy of our assistance-to-nationals fund,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay posted over his Twitter account.
The DFA has not released the details of the flight but Filipinos who want to avail the program are advised to contact the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate-General.
There are at least 161,885 Filipinos in Italy alone but “few” have so far signified interest to return home, said Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez.
“Marami nang napauwi na crew members ng cruise ships na mula sa Italy pero ang land-based repatriation inaayos pa ng Embassy sa Rome at consulate sa Milan. Ayon sa interview ni Ambassador (Domingo) Nolasco noong isang araw, mukhang iilan pa lamang ang interesadong umuwi na land-based (Several crew members from cruise ships in Italy have returned but the repatriation of the land-based are still being polished by the Embassy in Rome and Consulate in Milan. Based on the interview of Ambassador Nolasco, it seemed few land-based Filipinos are interested to return home),” he told reporters.
According to the latest data from the World Health Organization, a total of 181,228 people in Italy have been diagnosed with respiratory disease while 24,114 have died. (PNA)