By Ariel Fernandez
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin personally welcomed on Christmas Day 26 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) repatriated from Lebanon and assured them of the government’s continuing support for their safety.
“We will rescue every Filipino who wants to go home. No one will be left behind,” Locsin assured.
The second batch of repatriates, including a three-year-old girl, arrived at the airport from Beirut on Christmas Day. Locsin said more OFWs will be repatriated before the end of the year.
Locsin said the DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will “bring home OFWs anywhere in the world who are in trouble. No questions asked.”
There are some 32,000 Filipino workers in Lebanon who are now facing economic crisis as most of them are no longer receiving their monthly salaries due to the conflict in Lebanon.
Locsin said there is a standing order that “no one should be left behind, and to deliver them door-to-door to their homes anywhere in the Philippines.”
“Filipinos are not afraid to work even in combat zones,” he added.
The OFWs who arrived on Christmas Day have connecting flights to Cagayan Valley, Davao, Roxas City, General Santos City, and Pagadian.
Marilyn Mangolarin, 37, of Pagadian, has been working in Lebanon as a waitress for over 15 years but decided to be repatriated because of the crisis.