Hotline Numbers for OFWs in Syria
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that are caught in the hostilities in Syria can get in touch with the Philippine Embassy or call the hotline numbers to seek assistance and to inform if they want to be repatriated
Filipinos in Syria can call hotline numbers of the Philippine Embassy, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA). These are the hotline numbers:
Philippine Embassy in Damascus, Syria: 00-963-116-132626
DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA): 834-3245 and 834-3240.
OWWA 24/7 Assistance Center: 8336992, 5511560, and 09178986992
Affected OFWs and their families can also voiced out their concerns by ending an email to the Embassy at: email@example.com or to OWWA at firstname.lastname@example.org
An estimate of 17,000 Filipinos are currently working and living in Syria, but only 2,287 are documented as of July 2011. The Philippine government is encouraging them to seek repatriation.
Mandatory Evacuation for OFWs in Libya
The escalating political tension in Libya urged the Philippine government to raise the alert level in this Middle Eastern country to 4. This alert level demands mandatory evacuation and repatriation of Filipinos and the cost will be shouldered by the government.
According to the data from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), an estimate of 1,600 Filipinos are still in Tripoli and other cities in Libya. Many of them are working as nurses and medical workers. The sad news is that out of this number, only 91 Filipinos expressed their wiliness to be repatriated.
To prepare for the repatriation, DFA Undersecretary Esteban Conejos said that the International Organization for Migrants has contracted a ship that can accommodate up to 400 Filipinos and bring them from Tripoli to Alexandria. Commercial flights to the Philippines are available once they are in Alexandria. The Philippine government plans to charter another aircraft for the safe return of Filipinos in Libya.
Since the capital of Libya is now under the control of rebel forces, the Philippine government asked the Filipinos in Libya to be extra careful and stay indoors. Deputy presidential spokesperson, Abigail Valte said that for safety purposes, Filipinos who want to avail the repatriation should call the embassy first.
Valte said, "As of the moment, we were told that it's very unsafe doon po sa streets so stay where you are and please try to contact the embassy first before making any decision to move out of your homes or your places of employment."
She also gave an assurance that the staff of Philippine Embassy will stay in Libya until all Filipinos are repatriated.
The Philippine Embassy in Libya is closely monitoring the situation 24/7 and the hotline numbers of the DFA for families of Filipinos who are in Libya are still open: 834-3240, 834-3245, and 834-3333.