NGO opens hotline for Pinoys still in Syria

Posted at 08/28/2013 5:20 PM

MANILA – The Blas F. Ople Policy Center opened a hotline for Filipinos who still have families who want to be rescued and repatriated from Syria.

"In case families of OFWs remaining in Syria find it difficult to get through the DFA's hotlines, they can also call the Ople Center through its hotline: 833-5337 or send an SMS to +639158435498 to pass on information and messages that can result in the rescue and repatriation of their loved ones," the Ople Center said in a press statement.

The Ople Center said families of OFWs or OFWs themselves can also send emails to [email protected] or post information on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/blasoplepolicycenter.

The Ople Center will share such information immediately with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Embassy in Damascus, Syria and the Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Ople Center head Susan Ople called on local governments to reach out to constituents with relatives in Syria to inform them about the need for such information so that the rapid response team of the Philippine Embassy in Damascus can locate and rescue their loved ones.

"It is important for all stakeholders to help the government help our OFWs in Syria in a calm, sober manner. Priority should be given to the smooth flow of information between OFW families, the OFWs there, and our embassy personnel as well as the DFA and DOLE. Such information should include the hotlines that these families could call, as well as updates coming from our own embassy in Syria as confirmed by the DFA and DoLE," Ople said.

She said that four warships armed with US missiles are already in place in Syria and the Syrian government has vowed to retaliate.

"We call on everyone to include our embassy personnel and thousands of OFWs still in Syria in their prayers. Let's continue to pray for peace here at home and elsewhere in the world including in strife-torn Syria and Egypt," Ople said.