SOLYMONE BLOG

ENOUGH FUNDS FOR REPATRIATION FILIPINOS FROM SYRIA


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday it has enough funds to cover the repatriation of Filipinos from volatile Syria, including the cost of airfare and visa fees, following its decision to raise the crisis alert to Level 4 in that Middle East country.
Meanwhile, the Senate foreign relations committee appealed to Filipinos in Syria to heed the government’s call for mandatory repatriation.
In an interview, DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said emergency funds and assistance to Nationals Funds will be utilized in repatriation efforts.
  • Under crisis alert Level 4, mandatory repatriation at Philippine government's expense will be implemented.
  • Hernandez said as of December 16, 383 Filipinos have already been repatriated from Syria. However, 5,000 Filipinos, both documented and undocumented, still remain in Syria.
  • "Mandatory repatriation would allow us to tell our people to leave now," said Hernandez.
  • The Senate foreign relations committee chaired by Sen. Loren Legarda called on the DFA to determine how government may effectively cover undocumented Filipino workers under its crisis management and security arrangements.
  • “While the DFA and the Philippine Embassy in Damascus have already laid out their plans for there repatriation and other necessary assistance to Filipinos in Syria, the bigger challenge rests on convincing our countrymen to take advantage of the government’s offer to repatriate them,” Legarda said.
  • Legarda recalled that the Philippine government had earlier made offers of repatriation to the Filipinos in Syria.
Since August, the government has offered repatriation assistance to Filipinos in Syria but as of December 16, only 383 of the estimated 17,000 Filipinos have agreed to be repatriated, she said.
“The decision by an overwhelming majority to risk their lives, not withstanding the clear and present danger to their safety, stresses the need for government to create jobs in our country that can feed families and educate children,” Legarda said.
Source: Agency
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