MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines is set to repatriate the third batch of the remains of 57 more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Saudi Arabia next week, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Tuesday.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the chartered Philippine Airlines cargo flight will arrive in Manila on July 28.

Preliminary figures from DOLE offices and the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh showed that all of the 57 OFWs died of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

According to DOLE, 30 bodies of the OFWs will come from Jeddah, 20 from Riyadh, and seven from Al Khobar.

“We will accord our fallen modern-day heroes the same grand welcome and memorial ceremonies due them upon their arrival,” Bello said in a statement.

The DOLE as well as the interagency committee spearheaded the repatriation, bringing home a total of 137 OFWs who succumbed to Covid-19 and other causes.

Bello said the homecoming of the remains will follow the same health protocols observed in the first two batches of repatriation where Covid-19 victims were brought directly to crematoriums upon arrival.

“Our government shares the grief of the bereaved families of our dear OFWs. But we continue to seek their understanding to strictly adhere to the protocols for their own good and that of our communities,” he said.

The first batch of OFW remains (49) had been brought home last July 10 while the second batch (88) arrived on July 19.

Government officials have welcomed and honored the dead OFWs upon their arrival in the country. (MNS)

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