DFA to help OFWs stranded due to Xiamen Air

Paterno Esmaquel II
DFA to help OFWs stranded due to Xiamen Air
Philippine embassies can issue certifications 'to explain to foreign employers the delay in the arrival of their Filipino employees'

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday, August 20, said it will help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded at Manila’s main airport over the weekend due to Xiamen Air’s runway accident.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs has instructed its embassies and consulates general abroad to extend their assistance to overseas Filipino workers who were unable to arrive on time in their host country due to [the] recent incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila,” said the DFA in a statement Monday evening.

“Foreign service posts will issue certifications and make representations if needed to explain to foreign employers the delay in the arrival of their Filipino employees,” added the DFA.

A passenger plane of Xiamen Air skidded off a NAIA runway on Thursday evening, August 16, rendering the runway unusable and leaving thousands of passengers stranded over the weekend.

Advocacy group Migrante warned that OFWs who don’t get to their employers on time risk losing their jobs.

“The NAIA runway closure…presents a grave impact on the job security of affected OFWs. What the authorities failed to give weight to is that many of those OFWs who were caught in the NAIA mishap will face possible termination,” said Migrante in a statement on Monday.

Xiamen Air on Monday apologized to affected passengers, but Malacañang said an apology is not enough. Filipino airport authorities said Xiamen Air will be fined for the damage caused by its runway mishap. (READ: Removing plane was Xiamen Air’s responsibility – MIAA– Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.