A group of overseas Filipino workers stranded in Qatar pleaded with the Philippine government to help them go back home as they have already exhausted all their money and have recently been terminated due to Covid-19 pandemic.
In an open letter sent to The Global Filipino Magazine by an OFW in Qatar, they call on the attention of the Philippine government, especially the task force to let them go home after being stranded in Qatar for nearly four months now and being not able to board aircrafts after experiencing multiple flight cancellations.
“We understand the government is trying to control the spread of Covid-19, we do not want to add up to the burden as well. However, we are Filipinos who are inside the country. How about our welfare?” the open letter read.
According to the letter, some of them are experiencing discrimination and hearing remarks that they are ‘virus carriers.’
The letter also mentioned that they just want to go back home ‘even without any support nor help from the Philippine Embassy’ in Qatar or any other agencies through the repatriation program since most of them have bought their own tickets.
“We do not want to add up to the burden of the Philippine Embassy in repatriating us. We are willing to undergo all the processes and protocols necessary to ensure that we are free from Covid-19,” it added, noting that some of them have lost their jobs in March 2020.
“We do not have any source of income to support our expenses here. Our residence visas have already expired or soon to be expired, we do not want to incur penalties for overstaying because we are not financially capable of paying penalties,” it further added.
Some of the stranded OFWs in Qatar include pregnant women who are in need of repatriation and Filipinos on visit visas awaiting to go home.
“All we ask is for the government to allow Qatar Airways or Philippine Airlines to have a flight and be able to land in NAIA (Ninoy International Airport), or to divert our flights in Clark International Airport or any other airports that can accommodate us,” the letter stated.
According to the sender, some of these stranded OFWs are now experiencing mild depression due to the current situation.
“We hope the Philippine government notices our appeal,” she said.