30 April 2020
A total of 183 Filipinos stranded in Peninsular Malaysia returned home via a special repatriation flight initiated by the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA-Manila) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) Tuesday morning.
The same aircraft also transported 123 Malaysians stranded in Manila when it returned to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on the same day.
The Embassy said the Filipino passengers comprised holidaymakers, businessmen and OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who were not able to return home following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 18 and the travel ban in Manila.
All the returning Filipinos underwent health protocol before boarding the aircraft and were treated with pack breakfast.
The Embassy also said the free special flight (KL-MNL-KL) was properly co-ordinated with the Malaysian Immigration Department and officials from DFA in Manila.
DFA officials and personnel were present to welcome the repatriated Filipinos upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“The special flight also transported 123 Malaysians during its U-turn flight,” said the Embassy.
On April 5, a similar repatriation exercise was organised for 83 stranded Filipinos in the peninsula. Several stranded Malaysians in Manila also returned home.
Ambassador Charles C. Jose said the repatriation of the Filipinos was made possible with the close co-operation between the Embassy and DFA in Manila and Malaysian authorities.
Posted in the Embassy’s Facebook on Tuesday, Jose said his office will continue to protect the welfare of stranded Filipinos in the country and others affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Thank you very much (Embassy) for assisting me to join in the special flight,” OFW Rene Burgos posted in the Embassy FB.
Another stranded passenger posted: “We thank you (Ambassador) because you gave us hope, and we feel that the Embassy and government is really there for us. So it’s very big gesture for us”.
A returning Filipina together with two kids from Johor Baru also thanked the Embassy for the speedy assistance extended to her and other Filipinos in terms of food relief and other helping hands during this difficult time caused by Covid-19.