|Overseas Filipino workers from Syria arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 on Tuesday morning./ Photo by Raoul Esperas
MANILA, Philippines – A chartered flight carrying 263 overseas Filipino workers from strife-torn Syria arrived on Tuesday morning in Manila.
The OFWs arrived onboard a Jordanian Air JE4371 past 10 a.m. at the Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The repatriates were welcomed at the airport by Vice President Jejomar Binay, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, and Administrator Carmelita Dimzon of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which chartered the flight for the OFWs.
They will undergo stress debriefing before returning to their respective hometowns.
Meanwhile, another batch of 19 OFWs from Syria will also arrive on Tuesday afternoon via Emirates Airways flight 332.
The mass repatriation of the OFWs was a result of the meeting of Secretary Del Rosario with Syrian Foreign Affairs Ministers Walid Al-Muallem in Damascus last week. The Syrian government agreed to waive the exit visas of over 250 OFWs, who are currently staying at a halfway house.
With the mass repatriation, the number of wards at the Filipino Workers Resource Center has gone down to 18. But the number is expected to go up again due to the escalating hostilities in the country. With reports from Johnson Manabat, dzMM and Maxxy Santiago, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau