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DOLE sends team to augment Egypt repatriation efforts

Photos show 3 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and one student who are part of the 15 OFWs from Egypt who arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday (August 30, 2013) to escape the civil disturbance in that country. The OFWs availed the government's mandatory repatriation program after the Philippine authorities declared alert level 4 in Egypt, meaning all Filipinos there are forced to go home. (MNS photo)

Photos show 3 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and one student who are part of the 15 OFWs from Egypt who arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday (August 30, 2013) to escape the civil disturbance in that country. The OFWs availed the government’s mandatory repatriation program after the Philippine authorities declared alert level 4 in Egypt, meaning all Filipinos there are forced to go home. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) -– Two veteran officers of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will travel to Egypt as part of the Philippine government’s Rapid Response Team (RRT).

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz named the two Welfare Officers as Robert Bassig and Eduardo Mendoza Jr.

Baldoz said the two veteran Welfare Officers will fly to Cairo, Egypt as soon as their visas are in order.

She added that the Welfare Officers will complement efforts of the Philippine Overseas Labor Officials (POLO) in Egypt to facilitate documentation of the OFWs, as well as Filipino nationals, due to come home within the next days.

On Friday, 15 Filipinos, mostly carrying student visas, will be arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) via Gulf Air flight GF 154 from Egypt.

The group is the second batch of repatriates who availed of the Philippine government’s mandatory repatriation program following the heightened political crisis in Egypt.

DOLE said the first batch of five Filipinos arrived from Egypt last week.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said there are around 6,000 Filipinos in Egypt. The OWWA Databank listed a total of 1,353 OFWs in Egypt both with active and inactive status. Top skills for OFWs in Egypt are Household Service Workers (HSWs), nurse, Hotel & Service Worker, Production Technician, and Stone Setter.

The OWWA Halfway House will also offer temporary shelters and accommodations to repatriated Filipinos.

Last August 19, the DFA raised Alert Level 4 upon the recommendation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario who went to Egypt to personally assess the situation in the said country.

OFWs and Filipino nationals in Egypt are advised to contact the Philippine Embassy in Cairo for registration/documentation. The `One Country Team Approach’, 24/7 round-the-clock POLO public service applies in Egypt. The Philippine Embassy in Cairo can be contacted through the Mobile Hotlines: (+2) 0122743 6472/ 012 8247 6554.(MNS)

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