DFA: 280 Pinoys to return home from Syria Tuesday
Around 280 overseas Filipino workers will arrive from strife-torn Syria on Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The DFA said in a Monday news release that the OFWs will arrive in two batches. The first batch numbers 263 Filipinos, who will arrive at 7:30 a.m. aboard a chartered Jordan Aviation flight (JAV-4371).
The second batch of 17 OFWs is also to arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at 4:35 p.m. via an Emirates flight (EK-332).
DFA Undersecretary Rafael Seguis will accompany the second batch of repatriates, the DFA added.
Last Sept. 4, DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario personally negotiated with the Syrian President's Adviser on Political and Media Relations, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, for a waiver of the repatriates’ penalties and fees.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) agreed to repatriate the 263 Filipinos free of charge. Also, an IOM accredited doctor gave the Filipinos a medical check-up. All were found fit to travel.
Meanwhile, the DFA again urged Filipinos in Syria to avail of the assistance extended by the Syrian government and apply for immediate repatriation.
It said families here in the Philippines with relatives working in Syria may provide the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs (OUMWA) with the latest information regarding their next-of-kin's present location and their contact details in Syria by calling (02) 834-4996 or (02) 834-3333.
Filipinos in Syria may contact the Embassy for assistance at 963-11-6132626. — DVM, GMA News