Stranded students in Philippines want gov’t to get them back
By ESTHER NURIA
SIX Government-sponsored students studying in the Philippines and who have their scholarships terminated in June of last year are calling on the government to repatriate them.
One of the students who spoke to the Solomon Star via Whatsapp said their plight has worsened by the day and the government must quickly arrange for their repatriation.
The student said the Government terminated their scholarships last year due to poor academic performance.
However, one of the seven students managed to come home before the global flight restrictions following the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic.
Asked why the others were not boarding the same flight, the student said that their travelling documents were not in order.
“The COVID-19 flight restrictions have further complicated our travelling arrangements, resulting in our delay to date,” the student said.
“However, when our matter was brought to the attention of the Philippine Immigration Department, they could do nothing as deportation orders can only be issued when a crime is committed such as murder and drug dealing,” he added.
The student said that they were instead instructed to follow the right procedure by ensuring their travelling documents are in order including costs before they are permitted to leave the Philippines.
The Solomon Star paper was informed that the six students were not given allowances under the COVID-19 student payout.
It is understood that the six students have since applied through the Ministry of Education to sort out their visas and airfares to enable them to come home, but are yet to hear from the Ministry.
“Since their termination from studies, the students are accommodated and fed at the expense of others to whom he is one,” he said.
He calls on the Ministry of Education to quickly repatriate these students as a matter of urgency.
Comments are being sought from the Ministry of Education.