Bishop Ruperto Santos, vice chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, called on Filipinos working abroad to be “extra vigilant” against the new coronavirus disease.
The prelate made the call as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among Filipino overseas workers reached more than 5,000 this week.
“It is a troubling and a sad reality that the virus knows no boundaries. It is our common enemy whom we cannot see and thrives with the crowd,” said Bishop Santos.
“All of us must be more careful, must be extra vigilant and should heed to our government authorities,” added the prelate.
He appealed to the Philippines’ Foreign Affairs department to “reach out, assist, and extend more help” to Filipino migrant workers amid the pandemic.
“Even far and abroad we have to look after them, and as Filipinos, we are the one who have to take good care of them,” said Bishop Santos.
He said Filipino chaplains abroad have been instructed to assist migrant workers through “prayers, holy masses and counseling … and for medications and repatriation.”
“In their needs our Filipino chaplaincies are their home, refuge and comforts,” he added.
On Sunday, June 14, the Foreign Affairs department reported that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad was at 5,541, with 22 new confirmed cases.