MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is “working double time” to repatriate as many Filipinos as possible due to the declining and exacerbating condition in Syria, said the Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday.
According to DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez, the authorities has increased its effort in bringing home the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are still in strife-torn country.
At the moment, forty-one OFWs are expected to fly back to Manila bringing the total number of Filipinos repatriated to 4,728 since December 2011.
Moreover, Hernandez said the Syrian government and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have guaranteed the Philippines to continually support the government’s repatriation program to make sure the citizen’s security.
The DFA also warned the Filipinos to stay away on places that are potential targets of the attacks such as telecommunication facilities, defense establishments and other military installations.
“We continue to urge our citizens in Syria to immediately contact our embassy in Damascus or our honorary consul in Aleppo for repatriation arrangements,” Hernandez said.
Furthermore, the agency appealed to the families and relatives of Filipinos who are still in Syria to give information on their current location and their contact details in the Middle East nation.
For help and support, OFWs can contact the Philippines Embassy in Damascus, tel. +963-11-6132626 and +963-96-8955057.
Faye Michelle Regis
ABCom, Leyte Normal University