THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) repatriated 314 Filipino workers in Kuwait who lost their jobs due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait reaffirmed the Duterte administration's commitment to bring home the displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Chargé d‘Affaires Mohd. Noordin Pendosina Lomondot said the embassy was ready to assist Filipinos in Kuwait "who wish to be repatriated and reunited with their loved ones back home, despite the travel restrictions both in Kuwait and in the Philippines."

He said that the continued closure of Kuwait International Airport to commercial passenger flights, and the ongoing restrictions for arriving passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila hampered the repatriation.

The consul general said that the restrictions in both airports were part of the Philippine and Kuwaiti government’s preventive measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 in their respective countries.

“Nevertheless, we are very hopeful that more Filipinos will be able to fly out of Kuwait, as we see improvements in Kuwait’s and the Philippines’ fight against the Covid-19,” Lomondot said in a statement on Thursday.

He thanked the DFA and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for granting a landing clearance at the NAIA for the chartered Kuwait Airways flight.

The DFA said that majority of those who joined the repatriation flight were private sector workers who either completed their employment contracts in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown or lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Their companies originally bought air tickets for the flights of their Filipino workers, but frequent flight cancellations led these OFWs to appeal for help from the embassy.

A total of 2,780 Filipinos in Kuwait have been repatriated since March 2020, the Foreign Affairs department said.

The Kuwaiti government has sent home 2,466 undocumented and distressed Filipinos from March to June 2020, as part of concerted efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 in the country.