Some 56 Filipino nationals, mostly OFWs, will arrive from Syria today, Saturday, 07 January 2012 via Qatar Airways (QR646). Estimated time of arrival is 3:30 P.M. The repatriated workers have availed of the mandatory repatriation program of the government as it raised the alert level to 4 last December. The scheduled arrival of the OFWs was reported to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz by OWWA Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon.
Dimzon said that the release of the workers from their respective employers was made possible by the negotiating team of the government composed of officials from DFA, DOLE and OWWA. Exit clearances were granted to the workers after the employers agreed to allow them to leave the conflict-torn country. More repatriates are expected to arrive from Syria in the next few days with more registrants expected to flock to the Philippine Embassy in Damascus.
The OWWA repatriation team will be at the NAIA to provide assistance through immigration and customs formalities. The group will be offered temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway Home and will be assisted with their domestic transportation needs. An OWWA counseling team will be on hand to conduct stress debriefing.
The OFWs will be briefed on the reintegration options, including business entrepreneurship under the Php2B OFW Reintegration Program. Starter kits under the livelihood assistance program to start micro businesses will likewise be offered.
Meanwhile, the “Libreng Tawag” of OWWA continues to assist family members of OFWs in Syria to communicate with the spouses, children or relatives whose whereabouts or condition they would like to ascertain. The facility is open at the OWWA-National Capital Region at Pasay City and in all OWWA regional offices throughout the country.
DOLE,OWWA and DFA officials will be at the airport to welcome the OFWS.