MANILA – Malacañang confirmed on Sunday that the remains of 50 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will not be brought back and instead will be buried there.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that the OFWs who died due to Covid-19 related illnesses will be buried in Saudi Arabia following the country’s local customs while the rest will be brought back to the Philippines.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said King Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has asked the Philippine government to bring home the remains of 282 OFWs as cremation are not allowed in the middle east country. Saudi Arabia has given the Philippines 72 hours to facilitate the return.
Roque also expressed sympathies to the families of OFWs who died in Saudi Arabia due to other causes. He assured that the government will be extending assistance to their families.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday, reported that one more Filipino overseas contracted Covid-19, bringing the total to 6,128 with almost 500 deaths and 2,849 recoveries from the disease.
As of June 19, DFA has brought home a total of 51,113 overseas Filipinos since the Covid-19 pandemic started in February 2020. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. meets with Ambassador of Saudi Arabia last week to discuss on the impact brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic on Filipinos in Saudi Arabia.