80 OFWs arrive from Syria


Posted at Jan 31 2013 10:10 AM | Updated as of Jan 31 2013 06:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 80 overseas Filipino workers repatriated from war-torn Syria safely arrived in Manila on Thursday morning.

Of the repatriates, only 20 OFWs were documented workers.

Among the repatriates was Annie Bustamante, 26, a native of Pasacao, Camarines Sur.

Bustamante had worked for a Syrian family based in Homs for more than two years as a domestic worker when trouble erupted in February 2012.

She said she feared for her life and had wanted to come home to her six-year-old son immediately.

Bustamante said her mother coordinated with Camarines Sur Rep. Datu Arroyo who helped bring her case to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Although the OFW did not get her six months salary from her employer, she said being home was the most important thing right now.

The DFA said the 80 OFWs who availed of the government’s mandatory repatriation program arrived via Emirates flight EK 336 at the terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Their arrival brings the total number of repatriates from Syria to 3,451.

Meanwhile, the DFA appeals to Filipinos who are still in Syria to seek immediate repatriation as the security situation in the country continues to deteriorate.

For assistance they may call the Philippine Embassy at 963-11-6132626.

The relatives of Filipinos in Syria may also provide the DFA with latest information regarding their loved ones’ present location and contact details in Syria. Those who wish to do so may call the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) at (02) 834-3240 or 834-4583 or the DFA Action Center at (02) 834-3333.