30 distressed OFWs in Lebanon back in PH

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 30 distressed Filipino workers from Lebanon arrived in Manila through the government’s repatriation program, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.

The Filipinos arrived on Sundayvia Etihad Airways flight. Among them were five minors.

The DFA said they were allegedly victims of trafficking in persons as there is an existing deployment ban to Lebanon.

“This is the kind of commitment we give to our OFWs under this administration. Time and again, we are ready to serve whenever, wherever,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.

Before leaving Beirut, the group of distressed Filipinos thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. for their commitment to serve the interests of the overseas Filipino workers.

Upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the repatriates were welcomed by officials from the DFA and the Department of Justice.

The DFA said it has coordinated with the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to help victims pursue the filing of cases against their illegal recruiters.

The department’s Migrants Workers’ Affairs unit shouldered the cost of the victims’ repatriation to Manila and/or their home provinces, as well as the immigration costs and penalties.

The repatriates also received financial assistance amounting to US $100.

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