OWWA-11 awaits return of 34 OFWs from Iraq, Iran

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Region 11 (OWWA-11) said it was waiting for at least 34 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Davao Region, who are currently in Iran and Iraq, to return home.

Carmelo Elaya, OWWA-11 chief for Programs and Sevices Division, said in a press briefing on Monday that the number could be higher as there are also undocumented OFWs in both countries.

"A team was already sent to the area to check on the status of the OFWs,' he said.

However, he said the agency does not still have specific details on the status of the OFWs from the region, whose identities are registered with OWWA's membership processing center.

The Task Force Gitnang Silangan, Elaya said, has been activated to attend to the needs of OFWs in the area.

Elaya also appealed to the families of OFWs to convince their family members to get in touch with the embassy for their repatriation.

"All concerned government agencies are closely monitoring the situation and has readied contingency plans for any eventualities including the establishment of a command center," he added.

He said they are also coordinating with the nearest embassies in Jordan, Lebanon, and Bahrain.

Elaya added that OWWA has a ready program dubbed as "Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay" for distressed workers coming from troubled countries.

"The undocumented OFWs can avail of their program under the National Reintegration Center for OFWs," he added.

"Rest assured all our regional and provincial offices are closely monitoring the situation saying they are also ready in their reception procedures in the event that these OFWs arrives in Davao," he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency