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Newborn baby abandoned on plane

Authorities in the Philippines are trying to trace a mother who gave birth then dumped her baby on a flight from the Middle East.

The baby boy was found in a bin bag unloaded from a Gulf Air plane which had just arrived from Bahrain.

Bloodied and wrapped in tissue, he was rushed to an airport clinic, where he was examined, cleaned and given a bottle of milk.

He is now said to be recovering well and welfare workers are trying to trace his mother, who could face criminal charges.

“The baby is now under our care,” said Celia Yangco, an official from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“We’ll look for his mother. We’re giving his mother a chance to come forward.”

If relatives of the mother can be traced, the baby will be entrusted to them, otherwise he could be adopted.

Social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman has spoken with anger about the incident.

“I was simply outraged, no infant should be treated that way,” she said.

The baby – named George Francis, after Gulf Air’s code name GF – was discovered by a security officer when he noticed something moving in a rubbish bag.

Airport doctors found the infant to be in good health, despite his ordeal.

“When we initially saw the baby, his colour was not right. His colour should be pinkish,” airport doctor Maria Teresa Agores told reporters.

But she said that after the baby was cleaned, “he regained his natural colour.”

Around one in ten Filipinos works abroad, many as maids and labourers in the Middle East.

Local media is speculating that the boy’s mother could be a domestic worker returning from the area, however Manila airport manager Jose Angel Honrado said it is too early to draw that conclusion.