Pinoy repatriates continue to trickle in from strife-torn Syria
Thirty-one Filipino workers from strife-torn Syria will spend Christmas with their families in the Philippines after availing of the government's repatriation program, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.
The 31 are expected to arrive Wednesday afternoon at the Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via flight QR 926.
According to the DFA, the new batch of repatriates previously worked and resided in Latakia, Tartous, Aleppo and Damascus. Before availing of the mandatory repatriation program, they sought shelter at the Philippine Embassy in Damascus’ halfway Quarters.
"The International Organization for Migration in Damascus shouldered the airfare of the 31 OFWs," the DFA said.
The repatriates, along with the officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy in Damascus, traveled by land on November 10 from Damascus to Lebanon’s Masna’a border where they were met and assisted by officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy in Beirut.
"Prior to their travel to Manila, the repatriates received medical check-up and pre-departure briefing," the DFA said.
With this development, the total number of Filipinos that have been repatriated from Syria since the unrest started in 2011 is now at 5,668.
Of this figure, 2,696 were repatriated through Lebanon, with the cooperation of the Philippine Embassy in Beirut.
Meanwhile, with the Alert Level 4 still in place in Syria, the Philippine Embassy in Damascus continues to appeal to Filipinos in the troubled state to avail of this repatriation program.
"The next-of-kin of Filipinos still in Syria are also encouraged to provide information of their family member’s whereabouts or last known contact details in Syria so that immediate assistance can be extended to them," the DFA. —KBK, GMA News