Pinoy Middle East repatriates, receiving gov’t aid through whole-of-government approach, says DMW chief

MANILA — The Marcos administration said Saturday that Filipinos returning from conflict zones are receiving the assistance they need through a whole-of-government approach.

Speaking at a news forum in Quezon City, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Officer-in-Charge Hans Cacdac expressed gratitude to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and its officials, as well as to the different embassies across the Middle East that exerted efforts in ensuring the safety of Filipinos.

“And so the effort continues and lastly the whole-of-government approach, all of this dahil sa whole-of-government approach na inatasan kaming lahat ng ating Pangulo na gumalaw at paiiralin ang aming mga puwersa para sa kapakanan ng aming mga OFWs, gawin ang lahat ng aming makakaya para sa proteksiyon ng OFWs,” Cacdac said.

Returning Filipinos receive financial assistance from the DMW, the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Social Welfare and Development and TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) totaling P125,000, Cacdac said, adding DMW and OWWA share the grant of assistance in addition to those extended by other agencies.

Cacdac said there is livelihood assistance being extended by DMW, OWWA and DSWD, as well as psychosocial counseling by social welfare workers and basic medical assessment by Department of Health (DOH) personnel.

“May medical checkup basic and further treatment kung sila ay kailangan pa ng further treatment in a government hospital, psychosocial counseling nandodoon din; and then TESDA (Director General Suharto) Mangudadatu – iyong pagbibigay ng free vouchers – pangmatagalan ito,” the DMW chief said.

“Iyong free vouchers – anumang training na gusto nila na kurso, anumang training institution na piliin nila nandoon – iyon iyong ibig sabihin noong training voucher na iyon; and then of course pasalamat na rin sa mga airport authorities… and then Secretary Benny Laguesma ng DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) – tumutulong din sa employment facilitation,” Cacdac said.

Cacdac also reported that the repatriation efforts of Filipinos from Israel and other parts of the Middle East are ongoing.

He cited the ninth batch of up to 299 OFWs from Israel who returned to the country with 14 infants or children, which brings the number to 313. The 10th batch of Filipinos is expected in the middle of or later this coming week, he said.

In Lebanon, there were 37 OFWs who arrived and the DMW is processing around 200 in that country, he said.

And in West Bank, the DMW is working with the DFA and OWWA to bring home those affected by the conflict, Cacdac said, noting two Filipinos arrived from West Bank last Friday night, bringing the total of four.

There are only 25 OFWs remaining in West Bank, Cacdac said. (PND)

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