PHL sustains efforts to evacuate Filipinos outside Damascus despite tenuous ceasefire

An April 17, 2012 press release from the Department of Foreign Affairs

Efforts to repatriate Filipinos in Syria, especially those from areas outside Damascus, continue amidst fears that the tenuous United Nations-brokered ceasefire will not hold.

Three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived yesterday, and 25 more will arrive today on board the following flights:


Flight No.



No. of OFWs

Emirates Airlines

EK 332

April 17, 2012

3:55 p.m.


Philippine Airlines

PR 731

April 17, 2012

6:20 p.m.


The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) declared that the alert level for Syria will remain at level 4 and that repatriation operations will continue despite the ceasefire because of the uncertainty of the security situation in the country.The Philippine embassy in Damascus is intensifying efforts to repatriate OFWs from outside the capital, where the situation is much more fragile. The repatriates were brought to the embassy’s halfway house, and negotiations for the issuance of exit visas were under way.This brings the total number of Filipino repatriates to 1,292 as of date.

The plane tickets of the latest batch of repatriates aboard Philippine Airlines flight 731 were paid for by the International Organization for Migration, whereas the rest were paid by the Philippine government.

The next of kin of OFWs in Syria are still being urged to provide the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs with relevant information regarding their relatives by calling (02) 834-3245 or (02) 834-3240.