DFA Secretary Teddyboy Locsin

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is working to bring home the remains of about 282 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within the week.

In a television interview, DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he had met with Saudi Arabia Ambassador to the Philippines Abdullah Al Bussairy who assured him that the bodies of the deceased OFWs are intact and promised to help bring home the remains.

“We’re getting a cargo flight even as we speak,” Locsin said.

Of the deceased OFWs, 50 have died from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“I’m afraid the 50 will be cremated. The DOH (Department of Health) is handling that and the cremation will take place,” Locsin said.

However, Locsin clarified that the remains would not be cremated before being sent home.

“The Kingdom does not believe in that practice. They are very strict and they accord the remains of the deceased with extraordinary level of respect, regardless of religion,” he added.

According to the latest DFA data, about 3,000 of the recorded Covid-19 deaths among the OFWs came from the Middle East and Africa.

“That’s the highest, Middle East and Africa, the Americas, 373, the Asia and the Pacific, 492, Europe, 305,” Locsin said. (ia/PNA)