PIA Press Release
Thursday, January 12, 2012
DOLE 6 ready to provide assistance to Ilonggo OFWs in Syriaby TWVillavert
ILOILO CITY, Jan 12 (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment in Region 6 (DOLE 6) expressed readiness to assist Ilonggo overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who may be repatriated due to the escalating violence in Syria.
“There are only twenty (20) documented OFWs from Western Visayas,” said OIC-Regional Director Crispin Dannug in a PIA interview as he also expressed concern for those who were undocumented.
Of the 20 documented OFWs, the DOLE record showed that 16 are females and only four are males.
The province of Iloilo has six OFWs (3 males and 3 females) documented working in Syria; Negros Occidental- 5, all females; Capiz- 5 (4 females, 1 male); Antique- 3 (all females); and Aklan 1 (female).
“All the OFWs have to do once they are now home is to report to us here at the DOLE, and after some formal process we will be providing them financial assistance through the facilities of the Land Bank of the Philippines as a start up fund for any entrepreneurial activities of their choice,” Dannug said.
He said that the call from President Benigno S. Aquino III and the Department of Foreign Affairs on mandatory repatriation must be heeded not only by the OFWs in Syria, but by concerned Filipinos in the Philippines who should help convince relatives in Syria to go back to the Philippines.
“The government has been exerting all-out efforts to account for the OFWs regardless of whether they are documented or not,” Dannug said.
Malacanang reiterated its appeal to over 4,000 Filipinos who are still in Syria to heed the government’s call for mandatory repatriation in the wake of the reported escalating violence there.
"It shows that the government is serious in making sure the safety of all Filipinos. All these are paramount in our agenda with respect to OFWs in Syria," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a Malacanang press report.
The Philippines has so far repatriated 434 Filipinos back to Manila since the start of the political crisis in Syria in March. Of this number, 349 were repatriated after the Philippine government called for their voluntary repatriation in August, the Malacanang press report disclosed.(JCM/TWV/PIA6-Iloilo)