400 Pinoys from Lebanon returning to the Philippines: envoy

MANILA – About 400 Filipinos are expected to return home in the coming weeks following the catastrophic twin explosions in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on August 4.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said a flight scheduled on August 16 also seeks to bring home the mortal remains of Filipinos killed in the blast.

Photo taken on Aug. 6, 2020 shows a view of the Port of Beirut after explosions in Beirut, Lebanon.
(Xinhua/Bilal Jawich)

“The President (Rodrigo Duterte) heard the clamor of our kababayans. This chartered flight is the most concrete, immediate, and timely assistance that the Department of Foreign Affairs could provide given the current situation in Lebanon,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said in a statement.

Before the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the DFA launched repatriation efforts in Lebanon to arrest the worsening condition of Filipinos in the country due to economic woes.

“Since December 2019, the department has repatriated at least 1,508 Filipinos from Lebanon. When Covid-19 struck, the DFA moved to provide assistance to our overseas Filipinos in the country,” Arriola said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy in Lebanon reported that 34 Filipinos were among the thousands injured in the blast, while four died, and one remains missing.

Based on previous DFA data, two of the wounded remain in critical condition and are being monitored at the Rizk Hospital. (PNA)

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora, PNA