DMW mobilizes assistance teams for OFWs affected by NAIA flight disruption

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) has established helplines to assist all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the flight disruption at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Sunday, Jan. 1.

DMW Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople said she had already instructed agencies under the department, particularly the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to coordinate with airport authorities in attending to all the needs of the affected OFWs--from water and food to rebooking schedules.

Ople issued the order as flight schedules across the country’s airports began shifting to normal operations.

Based on the initial report, Ople said some 3,000 affected OFWs were provided food packs and water.

"Hotel accommodations and transportation were also provided for those whose flights were rescheduled or rebooked," said Ople.

All airport assistance teams across the country were also placed on standby to assist OFWs on their journey.

OWWA Administrator Arnell Ignacio reminded OFWs whose flights remain affected by the flight disruptions to approach any of the OWWA and DMW assistance centers at the airport terminals.

He said the affected OFWs may call the DMW Hotline (1348) if they need assistance. Manila-bound OFWs may also approach any of the OWWA personnel at the airport terminals.

Migrant Workers Welfare Offices (MWOs), formerly known as Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs), also provided on site assistance to stranded OFWs in airports abroad.

In Taiwan, MWO Cesar Chavez Jr. reported some 500 OFWs and other Filipino nationals onboard Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific (CebuPac), Eva Air, and other airlines stranded at the Taoyuan Airport Sunday were provided accommodations, food, and other necessities by MWO staff, airline, and airport personnel.

At Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports, MWO Ramon Pastrana and Assistant MWO Barwin Villordon report stranded passengers were provided sandwiches, soft drinks, and bottled water as they waited for the resumption of flights to Manila.

At the Hongkong International Airport, Assistant MWO Antonio Villafuerte said Migrant Workers Officers coordinated with airline representatives in providing overnight hotel accommodations and food vouchers to stranded passengers.