Filipino workers who returned home from Syria sign their immigration forms on arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via a chartered flight, in southern Manila, Philippines yesterday.
MANILA: A total of 261 overseas Filipino workers who left their work in Syria owing to the continued conflict in the country arrived yesterday morning in the Philippines.
The first group of 261 Filipino repatriates left Syria Wednesday via Jordanian flight 4371 from Damascus, a chartered flight arranged and facilitated by the IOM.
These OFWs are among the 315 Filipinos whose tickets were provided by the International Organization for Migration.
The Jordanian flight is the second IOM-chartered flight to repatriate Filipinos from Syria. Some 263 Filipinos were also flown out of Syria through an IOM-chartered flight last September 11.
The rest of the Filipinos will leave in three or four batches via Emirates Airlines commercial flights.
A TV report said the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will provide assistance through the “Balik Pilipinas Reintegration Program” both to documented and the undocumented OFWS.
OFWs who are OWWA members, however, will receive additional P10,000 ($220) in aid.
Stress debriefing and counseling will also be conducted for the returning workers.
The government said there are about 10,000 Filipinos in Syria, and 90 percent of whom are female and working as domestic helpers. Conflict broke out in Syria in March 2011 between the government and rebel forces that are seeking the ouster of Bashar Assad as Syrian president.
The Philippine star