The Immigration Office (BI) reported that more than 9,000 overseas Filipinos have so far returned to the country via Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) in the city of Olongapo.
In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, Chief Supervisor of BI-Clark International Airport (CIA) Maan Krista Lapid-Legaspi revealed that a total of 9,111 passengers have arrived at SBIA since July , date of its reopening to serve special commercial flights from abroad.
All flights were put together by Philippine Airlines to transport Filipino Overseas Workers (OFW) and other Filipinos stranded overseas due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
âOur immigration officers in Clark serve these Subic flights which arrive two to three times a week, each carrying an average of 200 to 300 passengers,â Legaspi said.
She added that a total of 33 flights have already arrived in Subic since the start of these repatriation flights.
Legaspi revealed that all repatriation flights originated from several cities in the Middle East, China and Palau.
9k Pinoys returned to PH via Subic Airport – BI
Morente welcomed the opening of the SBIA, saying it continues to serve as a hub that assists the arrival of thousands of OFWs eager to return home.
“We assure PAL and our stakeholders in Subic that our agents will always be available to process the passengers on these repatriation flights,” said Morente. âUpon receipt of the prior notice on the schedule of these flights, we designate the number of immigration officers to handle the arrival formalities,â said Morente.
It will be remembered that Subic airport only resumed its international flights last July, that is to say after more than a decade of interruption of service.
The government has acceded to PAL’s request to arrange flights to the former US naval base so that it can serve as an alternative entry point for Filipinos wishing to return to the country amid the pandemic.
In July 2021, more than 600,000 Filipinos have returned home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Hans Leo Cacdac.