DSWD to assist repatriated OFWs from Middle East
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday, January 10, revealed its assistance plans for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be repatriated from the Middle East following rising tension in the region.
On January 3, top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US strike at Baghdad's international airport, causing tensions to flare in the Middle East.
The Philippine government on Wednesday, January 8, ordered the evacuation of more than 1,000 Filipino workers in Iraq due to security threats.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also raised Alert Level 4 in Iraq. Alert Level 4 is issued when there is "large-scale internal conflict or full-blown external attack." (READ: DFA urges Filipinos to cancel all travel to Iraq after U.S. killing of top Iran general)
The DSWD on Friday said it will set up repatriation desks in international airports around the country where OFWs and their families will be served upon their arrival.
The DSWD will also deploy social workers who will be on duty 7 days a week to assist the repatriates. They will also provide the repatriates with financial assistance.
The repatriated OFWs will be referred to the DSWD's regional offices where they may be provided additional interventions based on the assessment of the receiving social workers.
Repatriates may also be given livelihood assistance should they need it.
Aside from the local airport and field office assistance, the DSWD also deployed social welfare attachés (SWAtts) to Middle Eastern countries. The SWAtts are working with their respective Philippine embassies to prepare and provide social welfare services to affected OFWs who are still in the region.
What Filipinos in Iraq can do: The DFA said Filipinos in Iraq can contact the Philippine embassy at (+964) 781-606-6822, (+964) 751-616-7838, and (+964) 751-876-4665. It can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through its Facebook page, Philippine Embassy in Iraq.
The Department of Budget and Management gave its assurance that the government has enough funds to bring OFWs home, with at least P1.82 billion ready for repatriation efforts. – Rappler.com