President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs to assist Filipinos left stranded in other nations after reports of seafarers stuck on ships due to the closure of borders have surfaced.
Duterte called on the department’s commercial, police, and military attachés across the globe to identify stranded Filipino nationals both in lands and at seas.
“In the so many places around the world where Filipinos are working, some are still in the limbo, hindi nila alam kung saan sila pupunta, and kung makauwi pa ba sila o hindi (they don’t know where they’re headed, and whether or not they’ll be able to go home)” Duterte said.
Duterte reminded the DFA of their mandate to help Filipinos around the globe who suffered due to the pandemic.
“Nakakaawa (It’s pitiful), a human being should never be a commodity that’s just left behind to rot. These are human beings and Filipinos,” he added, calling on the DFA to do “all [they] can” to help the affected Filipinos.
To date, figures from the DFA showed that a total of 10,314 overseas Filipinos in 76 countries have been infected with the coronavirus, of which 6,554 have recovered and 772 have died.