300 OFWs from Syria expected to arrive today

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 10 2012 10:01 AM | Updated as of Sep 10 2012 06:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Close to 300 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who escaped from war-torn Syria are expected to arrive today.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) reported that 265 OFWs, mostly undocumented workers, are set to arrive early this morning.

“The 265 OFWs will arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via chartered flight courtesy of the International Organization for Migration,” OWWA said in a statement.

According to OWWA, the 265 OFWs were among the thousands of OFWs who availed of the government’s ongoing repatriation program.

The government has ordered the mandatory repatriation of all OFWs from Syria due to escalating hostilities there.

The OWWA repatriation team would be at the airport to extend necessary assistance in going through immigration and customs formalities.

Meanwhile, Migrante Middle East called on the government to work for the clemency and immediate repatriation of hundreds of OFWs languishing in various jails in Saudi Arabia.

Migrant-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said they welcome the granting of clemency for seven OFWs, but they are hoping the government could also work for the release of other imprisoned OFWs.