THE Philippine Embassy in Myanmar, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Philippine Airlines repatriated 55 distressed Filipinos (37 male and 18 females) to Manila through a special chartered sweeper flight.
Filipinos from Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Bangkok, Thailand were also repatriated in the same flight.
The repatriation flight on May 29 was organized to assist stranded Filipinos in Myanmar due to the unavailability of commercial flights brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the Filipinos who were repatriated resided in Yangon. Six came from Thahtay Kyun Island in the Thanintharyi Region (1,275 km from Yangon) who had to travel by sea to Kawthaung and then by air just to reach Yangon for the flight.
The Embassy also provided temporary hotel accommodation for these Filipinos from Thahtay Kyun and assisted eight Filipinos in paying for overstay fees. Aside from Filipinos, the Embassy in Yangon was also able to repatriate its first pet – a domestic short-haired cat named Jon Snow White who is a treasured companion of a Filipino woman also on board the flight.
This is the fifth government-funded repatriation flight since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sixteenth Philippine Embassy-organized flight to repatriate Filipinos from Yangon.