MANILA – Thirty-seven Filipinos, including a child, have expressed their intention to be repatriated from strife-torn Yemen, the Department of Labor and Employment said on Friday.
"We are closely monitoring the situation in Yemen and are constantly in touch with the members of the Philippine contingency team there. The safety of our OFWs in Yemen is our foremost consideration," DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.
Based on the report sent by Labor Attache Des Dicang of the contingency team to Yemen, 25 of the 36 OFWs seeking repatriation are medical staff employed at the Ministry of Defense Hospital in Sana'a.
Below are the names of the 25 medical staff:
Dulce Corazon Jimenez;
Maria Lourdes Barrozo;
Mary Grace del Rosario;
Selly Ruth Edanol;
Christine Love Deduyo;
Diovel Bryan Ganac;
Lovely Aiza Abegonia;
Mary Joyce Ramirez;
Rhea Tabuada Jean Tamboong;
Ma. Kristine Lorete; and
Maria Krisitine Malimban.
"Their airfare will be shouldered by the Defense Ministry Hospital which also provided each employee a compensation package equivalent to a three-month salary and a bonus equivalent to a two-week salary," Dicang said in his report to DOLE.
On the other hand, the 11 OFWs and the child who wanted to go home have expired visas and need to pay penalties computed at US$1.5 per day for the expired visas and US$1.5 per day for the expired work permits.
Dicang reported, however, that the Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, will shoulder the cost of the OFWs' plane fares.
The 11 Filipinos are:
Edwin De Jesus;
Crystal Jade Dormitorio;
Kryselle Jean Mendiola;
Almario Rigor, Jr.;
Arriane Joy Mendiola de Jesus;
Roberto Dawedou; and
Two-year old Mark Daniel Suarez
"Some OFWs have expressed their desire that the current Alert Level 3 be lowered to Alert Level 2 to allow them to go on vacation and be able to return to Yemen," Dicang stated in his report.
Aside from Dicang, Vice Consul Winston Dean Almeda, Attache' Rene Salazar of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, and Philippine Honorary Consul to Yemen Mohammed Saleh Al Jawal are also members of the Philippine contingency team in Yemen. They will remain in Yemen to monitor the situation, assist the OFWs in the voluntary repatriation process and conduct review of the current alert level.
Meantime, Vice Consul Almeda has been informed by the Defense Ministry Hospital that the monetary compensation to be paid for the family of the seven OFWs killed during a bomb attack is now ready for remittance.
He also asked the assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to get the names and the account numbers of the beneficiaries of the seven OFWs.
The OFWs killed in the attack were:
Edward Anthony De Guzman;
Mariane David; and
Dicang is now back in Manila. But he assigned area coordinators in the Filipino community to assist the government in updating the list of Filipinos in Yemen and to provide feedback in case of any unusual activities.
"The area coordinators continue to be active and regularly communicate with the Philippine contingency team," Dicang said.
There is an estimated 1,300 OFWs in Yemen most of whom entered the country using visit visas but have found employment and acquired working visas.