After Duterte visit, 6 OFWs to be repatriated from Russia

Pia Ranada
After Duterte visit, 6 OFWs to be repatriated from Russia
The 6 Filipinos are set to return to the Philippines a few days after President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Russia

MOSCOW, Russia – Six stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are set to be repatriated from Russia upon the instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte, who is in Moscow for an official visit.

Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta said the 6 Filipinos – 5 females and one male – will fly back to the Philippines a “few days” after Duterte wraps up his 4-day visit on May 26.

“He has instructions to repatriate so we will repatriate them, but following the process. Now, 6 will be repatriated, but straight to the Philippines,” said Sorreta on Tuesday, May 23, during a press conference.

The 6 were supposed to fly home with the President but will be unable to because Duterte is dropping by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates before returning to the Philippines.

The repatriation process requires the 6 Filipinos to go straight to the Philippines, said Sorreta.

Through the intercession of the Philippine embassy, the 6 will not be charged with violating Russia’s immigration laws despite working without the proper documents.

“We fixed it so that they will not be charged with violation by immigration. We made sure they will not work and they will be repatriated,” said Sorreta.

The 6, who took jobs as cooks, nannies, and household helpers, are currently staying in a shelter provided by the embassy.

Some 90% of OFWs in Russia are employed as household helpers but Sorreta reported that, in general, they are treated well.

“They are treated very well. In fact, they are treated so well we have now recently had an influx of workers from Hong Kong and Middle East coming in,” said the envoy.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has said there are around 5,000 OFWs in Russia. Some 75% of them voted for Duterte in the 2016 elections. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at