The Consulate-General of the Philippines in Macau announced on Friday that Philippine nationals stranded in Macau will be able to return to their home country on special Philippine Airlines flights next week.
According to the announcement, the Macau-Manila flights by the national flag carrier have been arranged in response to requests by Philippine nationals in Macau. The consulate posted earlier this week an online survey on its website — Advisory on the survey of stranded Filipinos who would like to take the special Macau-Manila Philippine Airlines flight — to find out how many Philippine nationals are interested in the airlift and how many flights would be needed for the operation.
According to a report by TDM-Radio Macau, the tickets for the flights will be sold at commercial prices. The Portuguese-language radio station of Macau’s public broadcaster said that about 300 Filipinos were understood to have signed up for the airlift. A domestic helper from the Philippines, who has worked in Macau for three decades, said she was told by her compatriots that most of the “several hundred” Filipinos stranded in Macau came here to visit family members or look for a job.
The Filipinos got stuck in Macau in the wake of the Philippine government’s decision to restrict travel between the Philippines and China (mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. All passengers arriving from the four Chinese regions in the Philippines are subject to 14 days in quarantine.
Philippine nationals make up Macau’s biggest foreign community, numbering about 35,000, or around 5 per cent of the population.