THE remains of 72 overseas Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia were repatriated to the Philippines on Friday, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) reported.

“They are home. 72 fallen Saudi OFWs will be reunited with their families and laid to eternal rest,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said in a social media post on Friday.

The bodies were brought home through a chartered flight. Sixty-two of the OFWs passed away from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), while the other 10 died of other natural causes.

Three other bodies from Riyadh were repatriated on Friday through a commercial flight. These OFWs did not die of COVID-19.

This is the fourth batch of remains flown over from Saudi Arabia since July — 267 bodies have been scheduled for repatriation.

The repatriation of the fallen OFWs is “more than a government duty,” Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said in a statement on Friday. “This is the government’s way of paying respect and giving recognition to our modern day heroes’ valuable contribution to the growth of the Filipino families and the country,” he said. — Gillian M. Cortez