MANILA, Philippines – Forty-three overseas Filipino workers are expected to arrive Wednesday, bringing the total number of repatriates from strife-torn Syria to 1,206.
The repatriates will arrive in two batches. The first, composed of 39 Filipinos, took the Philippine Airlines flight 731 which will arrive at around 6 p.m. The second batch of four Filipinos is on board Emirates Airlines flight 334 and will arrive past 9 p.m.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) paid for the plane tickets of the first batch, while the rest were shouldered by the Philippine government.
“We are grateful that IOM is giving us a helping hand in our repatriation efforts. The organization's resources have lent support to our Government's continuing efforts to bring distressed Filipinos in strife-torn Syria home," Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Raul Hernandez said.
The DFA said 7 of the repatriates are from Homs, one of the cities worst hit by the ongoing violence, while most of the rest are from Damascus.
The government raised alert level 4 last December 2011 which called for a mandatory evacuation of all Filipinos in Syria. It vowed to continue its repatriation efforts for as long as necessary.
Relatives of Pinoys still in Syria are urged to provide the DFA with the location and contact numbers of their kin to arrange for their immediate repatriation.
Interested parties may call the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) at (02) 834-3245 or (02) 834-3240.