Overseas Filipinos stranded in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and the UAE now have more ways to return home.
In response to the Philippines’ extension of a travel ban on 10 countries over fears of Covid-19’s highly infectious Delta variant, the national carrier has made special arrangements with the government to launch repatriation flights for citizens stranded abroad. These are termed “Bayanihan flights,” recalling a local tradition of joining hands in a communal effort to achieve a particular goal. Following a successful operation from Dubai yesterday, three more Bayanihan flights are scheduled for the coming week. One is set to depart Kuala Lumpur for Manila on Saturday, August 21, while Sunday will see repatriation flights take off from Jakarta and Dubai, bound for the Philippine capital. Though it is likely that the airline will add more departures beyond those dates, further details have not yet been confirmed.
According to PAL, only Philippine passport holders will be allowed to board the Bayanihan flights. Passengers must present a valid negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before their departure from the concerned foreign city, and must undergo a second RT-PCR test after the first seven days of quarantine in the Philippines. Passengers will also need to show the One Health Pass QR code prior to aircraft boarding.
All travelers, including children, should register with the Bureau of Quarantine by using its e-Health Declaration Card to record their personal information, health status, and travel history. In line with the Philippine government’s health protocols for Bayanihan flights, passengers will be subjected to a 14-day stringent facility-based quarantine upon arrival in the Philippines. The cost of the quarantine hotel stay of Overseas Foreign Workers and the RT-PCR tests on the seventh day will be shouldered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and/or the Philippine Ports Authority, while Returning Overseas Filipinos will cover their own hotel and testing costs.
More information here.