A day after government announced that six of Solomon Islands’ students in the Philippines were tested positive for COVID-19, SIG has revealed that it is bringing back the 401 students plus their dependents in three separate flights starting this month.
Disgruntled parents of students’ studying in various universities across the Philippines congregated in Honiara this morning and were met by top senior government officials who updated them on the current state of arrangements to bring back our students and their status in the Philippines.
Initially the government said the flights were to take place on September 15 and 18 but that has now been changed for the end of this month and one for last October.
Dr Roddie said all 401 students and their dependents will have to undergo three tests, the final one before they board one of the three flights.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education Dr Franco Roddie told SBMOnline that the flights will happen on September 27, September 29 and October 27.
The last flight next month is for those who are positive with COVID-19 and are required to meet the quarantine time period before flying home.
Currently the government is coordinating the flights and details of students boarding which flight will be determined by the outcome of their test results.
According to SIG, anyone coming home has to produce three negative test results before they are allowed to board the flight.
It was also revealed that the ministry of health is working with Red Cross in the Philippines to supply food to the students.
There has been public outcry after the government had continued to delay the repatriation of the students from the Philippines.
Today the parents and the government came first to face where they were briefed by the latter on the arrangements.
One parent said the meeting defused a lot of misinformation.
“I am happy with the meeting now we know what the government is doing for our children. He gives us comfort,” one parent told SBMOnline.
He said his only biggest disappointment was the flights should have happened three months ago.
“Now we just have to support the government to ensure we bring our children home,” the parent told SBMOnline.
According to the president of Solomon Islands Philippines Students Association (SIPSA) Aurthur Mola as of Sunday around 290 students had already been tested and out of that about 150 plus students had yet to receive their test results and round 150 students were yet to be tested.
Government has stepped up its efforts to bring back the students as of yesterday following public pressure after the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, announced that six Solomon Islands students were tested positive for COVID-19 in the Philippines.