Welcome home as students’ flight from Philippines arrived 3 hours late
By John Follet
A chartered Solomon Airlines flight repatriating students from the Philippines arrived in Honiara three hours late last night, because a number of local students booked on the flight have allegedly violated the host-country’s laws.
Under the newly-introduced laws, students are now required to undergo police clearance before they could be allowed to leave the country (Philippines).
The flight landed safely at around 8 pm last night.
Solomon Airlines last night confirmed the flight was delayed as authorities worked frantically to sort out the matter. As a result only 96 students were able to travel, leaving behind some 27 students from the initial booking of 127 students.
Karl Kuper Camp Management Chair also revealed 96 students arrived on the flight.
In an online interview yesterday, a final year student told Solomon Star that “there are students who committed (unspecified) crimes while studying in the Philippines.”
Solomon Star revealed last week that some students were unable to move into hotels arranged by the government because they have issues with police clearance, visas and non-payment of rental accommodation.
“One of the reasons why some of our students were unable to move into hotels arranged by the government is because they were still waiting to undergo police clearance. Once they have been cleared, they can move into the hotels,” the student said.
The student who declined to be named said there was no such thing as police clearance during their first year in the Philippines.
“But lately the police have introduced police clearance requirements because of our students’ involvement in petty crimes.
“A number of times our students would be involved in fights as well as entering people’s homes without permission, especially when they are drunk.
“This is why now we have to go through police clearance before we are allowed to leave,” he said.
Regarding unpaid rentals, he said it’s the students’ own failure because the government had already paid up all students’ allowance.
On the issue of visas, the student said some of the contributing factors was due to a limited number of people allowed to see the Immigration in the Philippines each day.
This led to the cancellation of Monday’s flight because the students could not be allowed to travel out on expired visas.
Some 228 students have issues with their visas and passports which have expired.
However, as of this week close to 88 students have their traveling documents sorted out.
Meanwhile, the government has assured the nation that it is working hard to get all the students home.
A total of 18 students and children are infected with COVID and are being placed in isolation.
Following the students’ arrival last night most of them have been whisked to the various quarantine stations.
Two more repatriation flights are scheduled to bring home students from Philippines.