Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday called on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) still in strife-torn Syria to return home as soon as possible as “the situation is expected to worsen” in the Arab country.
Binay, the presidential adviser on OFW concerns, also appealed to the relatives here of the Filipinos in Syria to convince their loved ones to come home.
“I am calling on all our compatriots who are still in Syria to evacuate because the situation there is getting worse,” said Binay in Filipino.
“The government is ready to do everything to keep you away from harm. We have programs that could help you start again once you come back home,” he added in a statement.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said at least 3,000 Filipinos remained in Syria, where the violence between government and rebel forces has been escalating in recent months.
The Philippine government has implemented a total deployment ban of OFWs there.
Since the eruption of the civil strife one year ago, the Philippine government, with help from the International Organization on Migration, has repatriated more than 3,200 Filipinos from Syria, with more expected to be flown home soon.
The DFA has fielded a rapid response team to help Philippine Embassy officials in Damascus locate Filipino workers caught in conflict zones.