Return home, Baldoz tells OFWs in Syria

December 16, 2012 11:24 am 

MANILA, Dec. 15 — Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz is urging every overseas Filipino worker still in strife-torn Syria to return home.

"Be aware of the fact that the DFA (Dept. of Foreign Affairs) has maintained its highest Crisis Alert Level for Syria since Dec 2011 due to the escalation of the armed confrontation between (sic) the Syrians," Baldoz said.

She warned prospective OFWs bound for Syria that a total deployment ban to that country remains in effect.

"The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration had stopped the processing of any worker document for Syria as it is not a safe place to work (in)," said Baldoz.

Addressing her advice to families of OFWs still in the war-torn country, Baldoz said they must encourage their loved ones to come home at once.

She aded the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and the Philippine Embassy in Damascus are ready to assist OFWs wanting to come home.

Baldoz said since the armed conflict in Syria exploded, more than 3,000 OFWs have been repatriated to the Philippines.

She did not say how many Filipinos were still in Syria.

But she reiterated the assurance to OFWs leaving Syria and to their families at home the DOLE is ready to provide them with reintegration and economic assistance.

This consists of livelihood starter kits and business start-ups through the “Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanapbuhay Program and other pertinent assistance under the DOLE’s National Reintegration Center for OFWs.

For the livelihood kits and business start-up assistance, this would be starter kits worth P10,000, with home-based livelihood business development, and skills training.

“There are also available job opportunities for them in the country which would offer better remuneration compared to their salaries as undocumented household service workers, and would mitigate the potential risk of maltreatment and abuse," she said.(PNA)

HBC/ANP

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