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DOLE to redeploy Filipino workers in strife-torn Egypt to other countries


05:20 PM September 5th, 2013

By: Tina G. Santos, September 5th, 2013 05:20 PM

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is eyeing the redeployment of displaced overseas Filipino workers to other countries from war-torn Egypt.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz expressed hope this would help boost the Philippine government’s ongoing repatriation efforts to ensure the safety of OFWs from the worsening political violence in Egypt.

Baldoz said they have been coordinating with local recruitment agencies of the affected OFWs.

“In the case of Egypt-based OFWs, there is an ongoing coordination with licensed recruitment agencies for their possible redeployment to other countries,” Baldoz said in a statement.

She said the initial offer of repatriation was being met with indifference by the majority of the Filipinos in Egypt who did not want to leave and lose their jobs.

Most Filipinos in Egypt are employed as skilled and household service workers in Cairo and Alexandria.

But aside from the possibility of being redeployed abroad, Baldoz also assured the OFWs of jobs at home.

“We have a package of livelihood assistance which they can avail of from the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO),” she said.

Meanwhile, nine OFWs were expected to arrive from Egypt before midnight Thursday.

It would be the second batch of OFWs repatriated from Egypt following the arrival of the first batch last August 30, according to Baldoz, citing information from the DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs.

Baldoz said that so far, some 2,283 OFWs and children have been brought home from Egypt, Syria, and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia—three areas where repatriation is ongoing—this year.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Syria reported that 1,250 Filipinos were repatriated this year.

As of Aug. 27, the POLO said there were 181 wards staying at the Embassy shelter.

In Saudi Arabia, Labor Attaché to Jeddah lawyer Alejandro Padaen reported that 1,018 Filipinos were able to return to the country as of August 26.

The Saudi government has given illegal foreign workers until November 3 to correct their status or leave the Kingdom without penalty.

“Of this number, 530 were males, 233 were females, and 255 were minors. This represents 18 percent of the 5,785 Filipinos who requested repatriation assistance from the Consulate,” Padaen stated in his report, adding that 258 individuals already got their exit visas and would fly back to the country soon.

The remaining 4,509 Filipinos are still being assisted at the Jawazat for the issuance of exit visas, according to Padaen.

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