STUDENTS UNEASY - Solomon Star News


23 September 2020
Some of the S.I. students in the Philippines being transported to the hotel, last week.

A NUMBER of students studying in the Philippines may not be able to travel home on the first two repatriation flights due to outstanding bills and visa issues. 

This was revealed by a local student in an online interview, Wednesday.

The student who declined to be named revealed this after it was reported that some of the students were unable to get to the hotels designated by the government to wait for the first two repatriation flights.

The student explained that some of the reasons why a number of students were unable to move to the hotels included; outstanding rentals to landlords, visas, and police clearance issues.

Earlier on the Oversight Committee issued a warning to students on Saturday 18 September following reports that some students have ignored quarantine rules by attempting to escape hotels to go out for other reasons, while others refused to go to the allocated hotels. 

It was reported some buses hired by the government in compliance with the Philippines ' social distancing requirements on public transport, to transfer the students to the hotels, went back empty as students decided not to go to the hotels.

But the student who is listed for the second flight on this 29th September told the paper that it's sad that due to the delay of their allowances, some of them would not be available to board the first two flights.

“Sadly some of the students may not be available for the first and second flight due to their outstanding rental dues,” he said.

The student claimed due to the delay in the release of their allowances, some of the students are unable to clear their rental, water, and electricity bills.

“Therefore they can't leave their homes because if they do they will break the agreement they sign with their landlords. 

“And the landlords have the right to report them to the police to deal with their issues,” he added.   

He said other students also face problems with their visas and police clearance.  

“That's why some of us cannot make it to the hotel because of these important matters like visa and police clearances,” he said.

But the student added, if everything goes well for them, they will board the third fight which has already set for 27th October 2020.

Meanwhile, the government has assured the nation that it is working hard to get all the students home.

About 200 students have issues with visas and expired passports. Some of them also lost their passports.

However, the government has managed to sort out the visa issues for a number of students to allow them to travel home.

Newsroom, Honiara