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315 Filipinos fleeing Syria

Publication Date : 18-10-2012


A total of 315 Filipinos will be repatriated in batches from strife-torn Syria this week as the government undertook to bring citizens back to safety in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.

The first batch of 261 Filipinos will arrive this morning via a Jordanian Aviation flight chartered by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the second such flight to be facilitated for overseas Filipinos by the intergovernmental organisation.

The IOM also chartered a flight for some 263 Filipinos from Syria in September, the DFA said.

Three or four batches more of Filipino repatriates will be arriving in the next few days in commercial Emirates Airlines flights. The IOM also sponsored their air tickets, the DFA said.

The repatriations follow recent high-level DFA missions to Syria, including trips led by Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and undersecretary Rafael Seguis.

DFA officials from the home office and the embassy in Damascus have been working to locate Filipinos trapped in conflict zones and to negotiate with employers for the release of those still bound to contracts.

The Syrian government has agreed to waive exit visa requirements and penalties for outbound Filipinos, the DFA said.


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