overseas filipinos - updates

Rappler's latest stories on overseas filipinos


OFWs in UAE scramble to update visas following new policies

Jul 13, 2020 - 8:29 AM

'Walang tigil ang mga telepono, landline, at mobile. Daig pa namin ang call center (The phones, whether landline or mobile, just won't quit. We're busier than a call center),' says Larry Esguerra, office manager at MPQ Tourism

PH to fly back remaining deceased OFWs from Saudi Arabia on July 20

Jul 12, 2020 - 7:15 PM

The repatriation of the bodies of overseas Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia is moved by a week

3,000 Dubai OFWs seek PH consulate's help for repatriation

Jul 10, 2020 - 7:57 AM

Most of those seeking assistance are jobless overseas Filipino workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic

Jobless OFWs in Dubai in quandary about returning home

Jul 05, 2020 - 9:00 AM

Some have no money for plane tickets, others worry about what awaits them in the Philippines

SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? These Filipino workers lost their jobs in the UAE but remain undecided on whether to head back home to the Philippines

[OPINION] Stranded scholars: An inconvenient truth

Jul 04, 2020 - 4:00 PM

'As I wait for our repatriation flight to the Philippines (after 7 ticket cancellations), I remain hopeful and try to remember that day I arrived as a scholar'

PH misses July 4 target to bring home deceased OFWs from Saudi Arabia

Jul 03, 2020 - 10:07 PM

Without specifying a new date, the Department of Labor and Employment says they will bring home the bodies 'early next week' or the week of July 5

MISSED TARGET. The Philippine government misses its self-imposed deadline to bring home deceased overseas Filipino workers. Photo by DFA-OUMWA

Bello says OFWs selling blood only do so for going out and drinking

Jul 01, 2020 - 2:57 PM

'Yung mga para sa mga lakad nila gusto nilang mag-inuman ganun, gusto nila, may lakad sila, ang ginagawa nila nagbebenta na lang sila ng dugo' says Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

OFWS SELLING BLOOD. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III says OFWs reportedly selling blood only do so to have money for going out or drinking. File photo by Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB

OFWs in UAE seek Locsin’s help to address canceled flights

Jun 30, 2020 - 10:19 PM

'Hindi na po namin hiningi na tulungan kami financially. Kami na po bumili ng sarili naming tickets. Ang gusto lang po namin ay makauwi sa Pilipinas'

MASK-CLAD passengers depart from the Dubai International Airport in this photo from April 6, 2020. Emirates Airline has resumed a limited number of outbound passenger flights after the COVID-19 lockdown. Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP

Dubai OFW in limbo over unpaid bank loan

Jun 29, 2020 - 6:37 PM

Failure to meet credit card obligations is among the leading problems besetting overseas Filipino workers in the United Arab Emirates

LIMBO. Engineer Eduardo Malinao Cervantes, 71, wants to go home to the Philippines but a travel ban has been imposed on him. His passport is with the Dubai Court. Photo courtesy of Gracie May Kalaw

Gov't launches Overseas Filipino Bank

Jun 29, 2020 - 4:45 PM

The digital-only bank aims to ease fund transfers for Filipinos working abroad and will soon offer secure financial products and services

DOLE: Remains of 301 Saudi Arabia OFWs home by July 4

Jun 28, 2020 - 4:39 PM

After delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the bodies of hundreds of OFWs who died in Saudi Arabia are finally set to be repatriated

Bello dismisses reports of OFWs scavenging for food

Jun 26, 2020 - 5:30 PM

The labor secretary insists the OFWs in Saudi Arabia sorted for themselves food rejected by groceries, not actual garbage

LABOR WOES. DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III addresses lawmakers during a House inquiry on the government's repatriation program for OFWs on June 26, 2020. Screenshot from Zoom

DFA warns OFW repatriation funds may run out by August

Jun 26, 2020 - 4:30 PM

DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola says they are allowed to repatriate only 350 passengers per chartered flight that costs P13 million up to P14 million per trip

GOING HOME. Around 500 OFW repatriates mostly from the Middle East are given COVID-19 clearances to go home to their respective provinces via land transport on June 18, 2020 at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange. File photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

PH gov't to bring home remains of deceased Filipinos abroad

Jun 26, 2020 - 2:20 PM

Regardless of cause of death, remains of Filipinos who died overseas will be brought home

REMAINS. The Philippine government will bring home the remains of Filipinos who died of coronavirus and other causes. Photo by DFA-OUMWA

Returning OFWs priority as gov't studies reentry of foreign workers

Jun 24, 2020 - 3:17 PM

The IATF may have a decision next week if they will allow the reentry of foreign workers who hold permanent and long-term visas

AIRPORTS. Domestic passengers checks in at the NAIA Terminal 3 on June 5, 2020. Domestic flights will resume as Metro Manila transitions to a more relaxed general community quarantine. Photo by Czar Dancel/Rappler

Over 200 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia died of 'natural causes' – DFA

Jun 22, 2020 - 3:00 PM

Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto says limited flights largely caused delays in bringing Filipinos' remains home

FILIPINO DEATHS. An aerial view shows a deserted highway due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on May 24, 2020. Photo by Failsal Al-Nasser/AFP

PH aims to bring home bodies of deceased OFWs from Saudi Arabia this week

Jun 22, 2020 - 10:58 AM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says the Philippine government is arranging a cargo flight 'as we speak' to bring home the bodies of 282 deceased Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia

COOPERATE. DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr and Saudi Arabia Ambassador to the Philippines Abdullah Al Bussairy in a meeting on June 15, 2020. Photo from DFA

Over 88,000 OFWs in UAE seek aid, but funds only for 17,000

Jun 21, 2020 - 11:54 PM

Data from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai show that Filipino workers either lost their jobs, are on a no-work-no-pay arrangement, or have had their salaries cut

Displaced overseas Filipino workers in Dubai queueing in for free hot meals. (Photo grab from Feby Cachero Baguisa Dela Peña’s Facebook with permission. She started giving free food a month ago and is now preparing hot meals from sponsors.

Saudi Arabia asks PH to bring home bodies of deceased OFWs

Jun 21, 2020 - 6:31 PM

Of the 282 Filipino fatalities in Saudi Arabia, 50 died due to the coronavirus, says Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

[OPINION] Studying in the U.S. in the middle of a pandemic

Jun 16, 2020 - 9:00 AM

'COVID-19 elevated and expanded the scope of my education'

UAE opens doors, allows even foreigners to return

Jun 13, 2020 - 11:44 PM

The new government policy aims to bring back over 200,000 people with valid UAE resident visas

Dubai's Sheikh Zayed road is deserted during a curfew imposed by the authorities in a bid to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Emirati city on April 5, 2020. - Last night, Dubai, one of the seven emirates making up the UAE, announced a two-week lockdown in which it will carry out tests in densely populated areas. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)

FALSE: OFW positive for coronavirus raped by camel in Riyadh

Jun 12, 2020 - 5:35 PM

The video containing the preposterous claim is manipulated from a 2012 report about an OFW raped by police in Kuwait

[OPINION] Can Balik-Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa help stranded Filipinos?

Jun 12, 2020 - 9:00 AM

'Michelle Silvertino's body, which was buried in a shallow grave, was one of the many casualties, not of COVID-19, but of the pandemic that is our government'

WATCH: Stranded workers occupy NAIAX road waiting for flights

Jun 11, 2020 - 11:30 PM

These workers hope the government and the airline companies take pity on their plight and assist them in going home to their families in the provinces.

STRANDED. Filipino workers stay under the bridge at NAIAX road in hopes airline companies will pity them and assist them so they can go home to their provinces. Photo by Charles Salazar/Rappler.

[PODCAST] Ang kahirapang dinaranas ng mga OFW sa pandemya

Jun 11, 2020 - 8:24 PM

Saan nagkukulang ang gobyerno sa pagtulong sa mga bagong bayani?

Filipina cruise ship worker dies by suicide while awaiting repatriation

Jun 11, 2020 - 5:00 PM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says the 28-year-old Filipina died in her cabin in a cruise ship 'where she's had to stay because repatriation flights back to the Philippines have been suspended again'

STRANDED AT SEA. This file photo taken on June 21, 2016 shows the Harmony of the Seas in the port of Marseille, southern France, for a cruise stopover. Photo by Boris Horvat/AFP

Filipinos in UAE band together to weather coronavirus pandemic

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:45 AM

In the United Arab Emirates, Filipinos think of ways to help out fellow Filipinos affected by the coronavirus crisis

FREE FOOD. Feby Dela Peña and her team. Contributed photo

Vigan records first coronavirus case

Jun 10, 2020 - 2:19 PM

Vigan's first COVID-19 patient is a 30-year-old OFW from Taiwan who returned to the country on April 15, and was quarantined at a designated hotel in Pasay City until May 25

CITY HALL. A decontamination tent has been placed at the entrance of the Vigan City Hall as a precaution to the spread of the coronavirus disease. The city recorded its first case on June 9, 2020. Photo from the Vigan City PH Facebook page

PH files complaint vs employer of Saudi OFW who died without medical attention

Jun 10, 2020 - 1:51 PM

'If what we heard and saw in the video are true, that constitutes employer neglect. Gusto natin panagutin ang employer niya sa nangyari sa kanya,' says Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Adnan Alonto

156 stranded OFWs, residents finally coming home to Lanao del Sur

Jun 06, 2020 - 9:28 PM

The stranded individuals and overseas Filipino workers will be quarantined in Marawi City

COMING HOME. Returning Lanao del Sur residents boarded one of the buses that wil take them home to Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur. Photo from Lanao del Sur Provincial Information Office

Overseas Filipinos with coronavirus reach 5,369

Jun 06, 2020 - 7:14 PM

Middle East and Africa have the highest number of Filipinos infected with the virus, but the most deaths are in the Americas

OFWS. Stranded passengers mostly OFWs queque as they wait to buy ticket to go back to their respective provinces at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Pasay City on June 4, 2020. Photo by Czar Dancel/Rappler

OFW recalls close brush with COVID-19 in shared UAE flat

Jun 06, 2020 - 5:10 PM

Arnaldo Tumaliuan shares a flat with 8 other people in Dubai. One of them tests positive for the coronavirus.

OFW. Arnaldo Tumalian has been based in the United Arab Emirates since April 17, 2007.  Photo from the Facebook page of Arnaldo  Tumaliuan

OFWs transiting Metro Manila to be sent home within 5 days

Jun 05, 2020 - 1:44 PM

(UPDATED) National Task Force COVID-19 overall head Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the government doesn't want a 'repeat of the previous months' when thousands were stuck in Metro Manila

COMING HOME. Around 100 Overseas Filipino Workers who were repatriated due to Coronavirus pandemic board a ship at the Northport Terminal in Manila on May 27, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

FALSE: OFW in Saudi beheaded after testing positive for coronavirus

Jun 02, 2020 - 3:26 PM

The video containing the claim is from a 2015 report about the beheading of an OFW convicted for murder

Cebu airport builds coronavirus testing lab in terminal for returning OFWs

Jun 02, 2020 - 7:57 AM

The lab will be manned by MCIA staff who are trained by the Department of Health, and will supplement the existing labs in the area

REOPENED. The Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) opens as Cebu is placed under general community quarantine. Photo from MCIA's Facebook page

Nearly 100,000 OFWs stranded worldwide due to virus lockdowns

May 31, 2020 - 8:05 PM

Most of the stranded Filipino workers are in the Middle East, says the Department of Labor and Employment on Sunday, May 31

OFWs. In this file photo, Filipinos who availed general amnesty granted by the Kuwaiti government are pictured  at the Kuwait International Airport Terminal 4, on April 3, 2020 on their way home to Manila amid the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP

Filipinos abroad with coronavirus up by 2,315, bringing total to 5,184

May 31, 2020 - 7:20 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says the spike is 'due to some late reports' from the Middle East 'where many host governments implement strict data privacy and confidentiality rules'

Around 100 Overseas Filipino Workers who were repatriated due to Coronavirus pandemic board a ship at the Northport Terminal in Manila on May 27, 2020, to go home to their respective provinces in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro after their overdue mandatory quarantine. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

OFWs struggle through prolonged quarantine in gov’t 'VIP treatment'

May 31, 2020 - 4:54 PM

Caught in a maze of tests and government requirements, returning overseas Filipino workers stuck in quarantine are forced to hustle just to get home

Duterte admin giving returning OFWs 'VIP treatment' – Roque

May 30, 2020 - 3:07 PM

Malacañang responds to a labor group that condemned the government for its 'garbage-like treatment' of migrant Filipino workers

Returning OFWs who finished thier prolonged mandatory quarantine queue outside the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange on May 28, 2020, to return to their respective provinces through the Balik Probinsya program. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

'Recognition for frontliners': Pinay nurse in UAE inspired by conversation with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince

May 30, 2020 - 11:02 AM

Jessa Dawn Ubag says she considered her video conference with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a 'recognition of the Filipino community in the UAE, along with all frontliners'

PINAY NURSE. Jessa Dawn Ubag is among the lucky few who had a chance to speak with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, through a virtual chat. Photo courtesy of the Emirates News Agency

Cebu, rest of Central Visayas gear up for more OFW arrivals

May 29, 2020 - 8:19 PM

The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas says thousands of overseas Filipino workers are projected to arrive in Central Visayas in the coming week

OFW ARRIVAL. Overseas Filipino workers arrive at the Port of Cebu. Photo from the Philippine Coast Guard Central Visayas

OFWs in Dubai battle coronavirus, too

May 28, 2020 - 6:11 PM

Most OFWs in Dubai opt to share living quarters to save on rent. They also become more vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus.

Fontana Chinese get coronavirus test results faster than some OFWs

May 28, 2020 - 7:51 AM

Chinese workers at the resort complex are included in a list of OFWs who’ve tested negative for COVID-19, even though their swab samples were taken later than some Filipino repatriates still waiting for their results

MIX-UP. Names of Chinese workers who tested negative for COVID-19 were inadvertently published on a list of OFWs cleared of the disease. Photo of the swabbing of the Chinese workers sourced by Rappler; screen shot of list from PCG

Fearing coronavirus, OFWs in Algeria ask PH gov’t to bring them home

May 27, 2020 - 4:52 PM

At least 152 Filipinos working in construction sites remain stranded in the African country

DISINFECTION. Municipal workers dressed in protective gear disinfect a street in the Bab el-Oued district of Algeria's capital Algiers on April 9, 2020. Photo by Ryad Kramdi/AFP

Stuck and undocumented: A transiting OFW's tough choice

May 26, 2020 - 8:21 PM

Does he return to a country in disarray, or does he stay in another where he has no rights? Whatever choice he makes, the future is uncertain.

Negros Occidental, Bacolod officials ‘surprised’ by mass arrival of OFWs

May 26, 2020 - 1:00 PM

In a single day, 468 overseas Filipino workers arrive in Negros Occidental and Bacolod via two sweeper flights and a sea vessel

THEIR HOME. Some of the OFWs who arrived at the Bacolod-Silay Airport from Manila Monday night, May 25. Photo courtesy of Capitol PIO

DFA probing death of Filipino in Lebanon POLO shelter

May 25, 2020 - 5:51 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is also considering 'underlying factors' as the domestic worker entered the shelter a day before her supposed suicide

Duterte orders OFWs stuck in Metro Manila to be brought home this week

May 25, 2020 - 1:13 PM

(UPDATED) Some 24,000 overseas Filipino workers remain stranded in the capital region due to severe delays in the release of test results and certificates

BACK HOME. A quarantine team from DOH assist repatriated OFWs from different countries into a hotel-turned isolation facility in Manila on April 2, 2020. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Filipina domestic worker commits suicide in Lebanon – embassy

May 25, 2020 - 8:39 AM

Her death comes days after a rights group complained about the shelter she was in

BEIRUT. A picture taken on January 25, 2020, shows Lebanese soldiers standing guard beneath a giant national flag in the capital Beirut with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains. Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP

Filipinos abroad with coronavirus now at 2,523

May 24, 2020 - 7:25 PM

There are 3 new deaths recorded, bringing the total number of fatalities among overseas Filipinos to 294

Two Hundred Fifty Three repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) return to Cebu City from Manila as they arrive in Pier 5 aboard 2go Passenger Ship on May 23, 2020. The OFWs already received their negative result after a swab test was done to them administered by the Sub-Task Group for the repatriation of OFWs as they will still render 14-days quarantine in the City. Photo by Gelo Litonjuan/Rappler