35 OFWs from Syria arrive home

January 31, 2014 11:50 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 31 — Thirty-five overseas Filipino workers arrived home Friday from Syria after they availed of the government’s mandatory repatriation program as conflict continue to escalate in the region.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) based at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) said the OFWs arrived via Emirates Airlines flight EK-332 at 4 p.m. which came from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The composite team of Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment and OWWA in Syria negotiated with the employers of the OFWs for their exit visas.

Monitoring of conditions/situations of OFWs in countries where there are conflicts is being done by the government on a regular basis to keep OFWs out of harm’s way and to safeguard the workers’ welfare and well-being.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz directed OWWA Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon to immediately dispatch the OWWA Repatriation Team to extend necessary assistance to the all-female repatriated OFWs who worked as Household Service Workers (HSWs) in Syria.

Distressed OFWs such as those coming from countries with internal or external conflicts resulting to armed conflicts are extended airport assistance by the OWWA Repatriation Team.

In coordination with Customs and Immigration officials, the OWWA Team facilitates the process of the OFWs’ documents in the said agencies for a hassle-free arrival of the distressed workers.

The OWWA Team briefs the returning workers on the government’s Reintegration Program for OFWs, especially the “Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanapbuhay” Program.

Under the “Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanapbuhay” Program, the DOLE conducts skills assessment, business counseling and entrepreneurship development training to interested returning OFWs, after which they are granted the ‘starter kits’ worth P7,500 as source for self-employment.

The OWWA Halfway House will provide temporary shelter and accommodation to repatriated OFWs who have no place to stay in Manila. A critical stress-debriefing will also be conducted.(PNA)

JBP/RTA

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