The last group of five Solomon Islands students in the Philippines is expected to be repatriated at the end of this month or in February.
Since the repatriation of Solomon Islands students in September 2020, the group remained in the Philippines though they were supposed to be brought home in 2021.
One of the students said they have been living in a government rented hotel for over a year now and could not bear it any longer.
“We want to come home. Our stay here has cost the government a lot of money and we don’t want that to continue,” the student, said.
He further stressed that they had also met the required tests and had taken their two jabs as a mandatory requirement by the government.
“Now we just want to come home,” the student, reiterated.
Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Jimmie Rodgers told SBMOnline that they are now working to bring the students home by the end of the month.
He confirmed that now they had taken their jabs as a requirement here – as a result of that they now plan to fly them via Port Moresby then on to Brisbane or direct to Brisbane for the 28th January flight connecting to Honiara.
Besides that option, Dr Rodgers said they were also looking at the possibility of bringing the students directly from the Philippines to Honiara on Garuda Airlines. He said the airline will be flying to Honiara in a charter to pick up Malaysian nationals next month. He, however, could not give details on the date of the flight.
Meanwhile the requirement for those travelling to Solomon Islands including nationals is to have two jabs of a WHO approved COVID-19 vaccine, one month in advance, and must undertake a COVID-19 test 11 days before travelling here.
Meanwhile despite facing the challenge, the students would like to thank the government for looking after them in the Philippines.