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DFA helps 13 stranded foreigners fly home amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Department of Foreign Affairs has assisted stranded foreign nationals in various destinations in the country get home amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, the DFA said its Consular Office in Zamboanga helped facilitate the repatriation flight of 13 stranded foreigners from different countries at the Edwin and Andrews Airbase on April 29.

Two Filipino nationals with resident permits abroad also joined the flight, bringing the total passengers to 15.

The Philippine Air Force plane, which carried American, French, German and Filipino citizens, left the airbase at 1:11 p.m. and arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 at 4:30 p.m.

All passengers followed standard medical protocols before taking outbound flights to their respective countries.

The DFA also said the passengers were provided with meals and local transportation service by the Department of Tourism Region 9.

Since the cancellation of domestic flights due to the enhanced community quarantine, five sweeper flights have been carried out in Zamboanga City, the DFA added.

Meanwhile, the DFA Consular Office in Tacloban has also assisted foreign nationals stranded in Eastern Visayas.

Together with the regional office of the Department of Tourism, it assisted a total of 92 nationals on two domestic sweeper flights from Tacloban to Manila mounted by the British and Australian embassies on April 28.

Earlier, the Consular Office in Tacloban also helped repatriate 13 Swedish nationals and 62 Australian nationals on April 11 and April 18, respectively. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/BM, GMA News