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Passengers of the chartered Kuwait Airways Flight Number KU 417 prepare for their check-in at Kuwait International Airport Terminal 4 on 29 November 2020. (Kuwait PE photos)

1 December 2020 – As the holiday season approaches, more overseas Filipinos in Kuwait will soon be reunited with their loved ones in the Philippines through the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait’s 20th special chartered Kuwait-to-Manila flight on 29 November 2020.

In a statement, newly designated Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Mohd. Noordin Pendosina N. Lomondot affirmed the Philippine government’s commitment to repatriate more overseas Filipinos in Kuwait amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Embassy assures our kababayan in Kuwait, especially those who have no financial means to come home, that it will go the extra mile to bring them home to the Philippines in time for Christmas,” Ambassador-designate Lomondot said.

The new Philippine Ambassador also expressed his gratitude to Al-Tayer Travel and Tourism, led by its Chair Fahad Al-Baker, for their continued and generous support to the Embassy’s repatriation efforts.

The Embassy’s special chartered flight carried 314 overseas Filipinos with nine infants. Among those who were repatriated by the Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office-Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) are undocumented and distressed OFWs from Talha Deportation Center, and 10 medically ill Filipinos.

Notable passengers in the special chartered flight include “Marissa,” who ended her eight-year quest for justice after winning her rape and attempted murder case against a Kuwaiti traffic police officer, and Arnel Rebullido, who fell into a coma for years due to a road traffic accident in 2017 and was finally sent home via the Embassy’s medical repatriation program.

Vice Consul and Assistance to Nationals (ATN) Unit Head Adrian Audrey L. Baccay, and OWWA Welfare Office Llewelyn D. Perez led Embassy and POLO-OWWA officers in providing assistance to the Filipino repatriates at Kuwait International Airport.

The 29 November 2020 flight was the 20th special chartered flight arranged by the Embassy this year with its partner travel agencies. To date, the Embassy and POLO-OWWA has assisted in the repatriation of more than 8,600 overseas Filipinos since the COVID-19 outbreak began in Kuwait in March 2020.

The special chartered flight was granted clearance to land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), upon the endorsement of the Embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). END

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A Kuwaiti medical staff member assists Filipino road traffic accident victim Arnel Rebullido prior to his medical repatriation to the Philippines on 29 November 2020, onboard the chartered Kuwait Airways Flight Number KU 417. (Kuwait PE photo)