The Philippine Embassy in Cambodia repatriated 167 stranded and distressed Filipinos to Manila in the first DFA-funded chartered flight from Southeast Asia. Eighty-two (82) repatriates made their way to Phnom Penh from twelve (12) different provinces of Cambodia, traveling 4-8 hours to reach the capital. The rest worked and lived in Phnom Penh.
Arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in mid-afternoon of 18 April 2020, the recovery flight brought home Filipinos who were adversely affected by the economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them lost their jobs and do not have the means and support system to continue living in Cambodia. Most of the repatriates worked as teachers, casino workers, musicians, and garment factory workers.
According to Ms. Myca Magnolia M. Fischer, Charge d’Affaires of the Philippine Embassy, the whole Embassy, including the service attachés, were involved in this undertaking. She said, “It was not as easy as merely booking a flight for the repatriates. Days prior to the repatriation, the Embassy made representations to Cambodian immigration authorities to allow some flexibility in the imposition of overstaying penalties of some repatriates, wrote to some employers to allow their Filipino employees to stay in the staff house until the Embassy is able to make alternative arrangements, provided board and lodging for those with no place to stay, arranged land travel and accommodation of those coming from various provinces.”
There are only 122 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cambodia. Out of the confirmed cases, 110 have already recovered and cured.
This article is taken from the Philippine Embassy in Cambodia Facebook page.