MANILA – A group of 21 overseas Filipino workers are set to be repatriated on Wednesday from Damascus, Syria, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
The repatriates will be brought by embassy personnel to the Syrian-Lebanese border by bus.
Embassy personnel in Beirut will be at the border crossing to assist the group with immigration formalities. They will then be brought to Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport for their flight to Abu Dhabi.
"Upon their arrival in Manila, the number of Filipinos repatriated from Syria will reach 5,137. Of this number, 2,112 were repatriated through Lebanon with the assistance and support of the Embassy in Beirut," the DFA said in a statement.
The DFA said that the embassy in Damascus stopped using the Damascus International Airport (DIA) in December 2012, when fighting between the Syrian Army and rebel forces intensified in Eastern Ghouta, the road where the DIA is located.
The embassy estimates that around 2,600 Filipinos are still living in different parts of the war-torn country.
"This estimated figure is based on the embassy in Damascus' Database and the List of the Syrian Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MOSAL)," the DFA said.
Meanwhile, the DFA continues to appeal to Filipinos whose relatives are still in Syria to provide them with information about their kin.
They may contact the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) at the following telephone numbers: (02)834-3240, (02)834-4583, or the Philippine Embassy in Damascus at telephone numbers, +963-116132626, +963-949155557.