During the ever increasing occurrences of natural disasters around the world, we often overlook the overseas migrant workers caught up in the aftermath.
One story with a happy ending was reported in the Manila Bulletin this week where the Philippine government will start repatriating 70 Filipinos from Haiti in two batches.
The migrants will be met and assisted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) at the Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.
OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon said that the first batch of 16 OFWs will be arriving to the country on Friday at 5 a.m. on board PAL 103 while the remaining 54 will arrive the next day.
Dimzon said that she and the OWWA team will be at the airport to meet the homecoming Filipinos and assist them in clearing immigration procedures.
She said that the repatriation is a joint effort of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and they will be accompanied by OWWA welfare officers.
From Haiti, the 70 Filipinos will be transported by bus for the seven-hour ride to Sto. Domingo in Dominican Republic and they will be flown out of the San Santiago International Airport going to Los Angeles for the connecting flight home.
The DFA and DOLE reportedly shouldered the repatriation expenses of the 70 Filipinos.
For the OWWA, they said that the government will offer livelihood assistance to the returning Filipinos.
OWWA said that they still do not have the complete list of the names of the arriving Filipinos.
The OWWA said that the names of the arriving Filipinos will be announced as soon as they become available. Source: Jean Fernando, Manila Bulletin.