By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA: Philippine Ambassador in Muscat Narciso Castañeda said Thursday some Filipinos in Oman are appealing for financial aid amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“‘Yong ating binibigay ngayon is administered by POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor & Office) ‘yong AKAP program ng DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) at sa kasulukuyan is being implemented, medyo kukulangin nga ng konti at may maraming gusto ng tulong pero limited lang ang ating fund na maibibigay (The ones we are giving now is administered by POLO, the AKAP program of DOLE and currently it is implemented. We might run short because many would like to receive assistance but we have limited funding),” he said during an interview at the Laging Handa briefing.
Latest data from the World Health Organization showed there are 2,903 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Oman. A total of 13 died as of May 6.
To date, the capital is under lockdown to arrest the further spread of Covid-19.
Castañeda assured the estimated 52,000 Filipinos in Oman, half of whom are comprised of household service workers, that the embassy would do its “best” to extend necessary assistance.
He did not provide details whether some Filipinos have requested for repatriation but said the embassy will find ways to facilitate a special flight.
“To those who want to go home, we ask them to indicate their intention and we’ll see how we can repatriate them because normally, if they are working for a big company, the company would shoulder their return flight,” he said in Filipino.