Manila runway closure: Nearly 1,000 overseas workers compensated

Incident at Ninoy Aquino International Airport recently forced many to change travel plans

Manila: Some 962 Filipinos employed overseas have availed themselves of the government offer of financial help for passengers affected by the recent stranding of a flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it has so far released a total of 4.8 million pesos (Dh329,569) to the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were stranded in Manila as a result of the runway closure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“Four hundred three stranded workers received their P5,000 [Dhs 343] in cash assistance on Friday, bringing to 962 the total number of those who have been served since Wednesday,” the DFA said. It added that in order to avail the financial assistance, OFWs only need to personally appear at the airport and submit their airline ticket showing original date of departure, reissued ticket showing new date of departure, employment contract; and Overseas Employment Certificate.

It may be recalled that on August 16, a Xiamen Air flight that arrived from Guangdon, China skidded off the runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) forcing all the aircraft’s 157 passengers and crew to undergo emergency disembarkation.

None among the aircraft’s passengers suffered any injuries, but the incident left runway 06/24 unusable for 32 hours.

The incident caused massive flight delays as the airport took time to remove the damaged aircraft from the runway.

Reports said a number of passengers who are OFWs had been badly impacted because of the incident as they were unable to report back to work on time.

Prior to the move by the DFA to compensate the OFW passengers, Philippine senators called on authorities to extend assistance to those affected by rebooking their flights and providing them documents they could show their employers to help explain the delay in their return.

According to the DFA, OFWs who were affected by the runway closure can still claim their P5,000 cash assistance, which came from the Assistance to Nationals Fund.

“Those who are still in the Philippines are reminded that they may still claim the cash assistance at the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs [OMWA] at the third floor of the DFA Building in Pasay City until the end of office hours on Friday, 31 August,” the DFA said.


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