11 June 2020 – One hundred and eighty (180) stranded Filipinos from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah are on their way home through the efforts of the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila, which chartered a Philippines AirAsia flight departing Kuala Lumpur via Kota Kinabalu this afternoon.

The repatriated Filipinos were composed of OFWs and their dependents, tourists, as well as students, who approached the Embassy for assistance after being stranded due to the cancellation of flights and border closures following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The Embassy has intensified its assistance to distressed Filipinos in Malaysia in light of the pandemic,” Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles C. Jose said. “Rest assured that we are exerting all efforts to bring our stranded kababayans home.”                          

The chartered flight was fully funded by the Philippine Government. Due to this, the Filipino repatriates, which includes OFWs who have lost their jobs, did not have to pay for their airfare.

"Salamat po sa tulong ng Philippine Embassy at sa DFA, at makakauwi na po ang maraming stranded dito sa Malaysia," said Laarni Pagsisihan, who is returning to the Philippines with her husband, elderly mother, and two small children. "From our hearts, salamat po," her mother added.

"Thank you so much to the Philippine Embassy for helping us [...] and for letting my mom take this chartered flight because she has been stuck here for 3 months," said Carla Lastimosa, who was at the airport to help her 83-year-old mother, Linda Lastimosa, check in. "We really want to thank everyone in the team…high level of professionalism, very courteous and very good to my mom."

Prior to check-in, the repatriates were provided face masks by the Embassy team assisting them at the airport. Snack packs were also distributed by Post’s OWWA team.                                                                              

Upon disembarkation at NAIA, the passengers will be subjected to a mandatory health assessment and COVID-19 test by the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine (DOH-BOQ) before heading to their designated quarantine facilities.

This is the Embassy and DFA’s second mass repatriation from Malaysia since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It may be recalled that a government-funded Philippine Airlines chartered flight brought home 184 Filipinos on 28 April.

In addition, two “special flights” coordinated by the Embassy carried 83 Filipinos home on 5 April and 104 on 30 May. The Embassy also facilitated the repatriation flight chartered by a Malaysian company for 180 of its Filipino employees on 02 June.

The Embassy extended its thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and other Malaysian government agencies concerned for facilitating the arrangements for the chartered flight.


For more information, visit the Embassy’s website at http://www.philembassykl.org.my or its official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PHinMalaysia/.