THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced late Friday night, July 3, 2020, that repatriation of the remains of 274 deceased overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has been postponed to next week.
"We regret to announce that the repatriation of the remains of our dear OFWs from Saudi Arabia is being delayed," DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement.
The government earlier said the OFW remains would be brought home Saturday, July 4. The new target is early next week, Bello said.
"The July 4 deadline has been extended to early next week for us to fly home our beloved modern day heroes," said Bello.
He said the documents needed for the transport of the bodies have yet to be released.
He added that they have to strictly adhere to the health protocols in transporting the bodies.
Despite this, Bello assured the families of the departed OFWs that they will not be buried in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, DOLE bared that a total of 301 OFW bodies were set to be flown home.
Of the number, 152 died from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and 149 died of natural causes.
The remains of 23 Covid-19 mortalities have been buried in Saudi Arabia while the bodies of four OFWs who died from non-coronavirus causes have been brought home. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)