MANILA – A group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) was scheduled to arrive in the Philippines on Monday, according to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
The 74 repatriates are expected to return to the country in two batches of separate flights. The first group, composed of 67 migrant workers, will arrive aboard the Emirates Airways flight EK332 at 4:35 p.m. On the other hand, the second group, composed of 7 OFWs, will arrive at 10:30 p.m. via Emirates Airways flight 334.
The Philippine government has urged Filipino migrant workers to come back home as a result of the continued tension and political unrest in Libya. The Department of Foreign Affairs has also recently raised alert level 3 in the country.
Including the 74 OFWs expected to return today, OWWA said that the number of repatriated OFWs has already reached 242. Majority if the returnees are males – only five of them were females.
OWWA said that it is expecting to accommodate more Filipino returnees in the next few days.
Roughly 13,000 OFWs are still working in Libya today; many of whom are in the medical, construction, service and oil industries.
The returning migrant workers will be assisted by the OWWA Airport Assistance Team led by Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado.
They will also be offered temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway Home and informed about the Reintegration Program for OFWs by the government.
Part of the Reintegration Program for OFWs is the "Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanapbuhay" program which madates the the Department of Labor and Employment to conduct skills assessment, business counseling and entrepreneurship development training to interested OFWs. At the end of the program, they will be given starter kits “as a source of self-employment.”
Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz ordered a 2-person augmentation team to travel to Libya. Composed of Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa and Welfare Officer Eduardo Mendoza Jr., the team will be tasked to assist and monitor the situation of the OFWs who have yet to return to the country.