Embassy meets with Filipino community in Syria

A September 18, 2012, press release from the Department of Foreign Affairs

(Photos from top, clockwise) CDA Padalhin delivered a short message to open the meeting. An OFW raised question about the Mandatory Repatriation Program of the Philippine government. An OFW raised question regarding consular matters. The Embassy Officers and members of the OPRT-RRT during the Q and A.

The Philippine Embassy in Damascus, together with the Philippine Government’s Rapid Response Team (RRT), conducted a meeting with the officers and members of the Filipino community in Syria on September 16, aiming to update Filipinos in Syria on the status of the ongoing Mandatory Repatriation Program (MRP) being spearheaded by the Embassy.

The meeting, which was held at the St. Francis Church in Damascus, took place after a regular Sunday mass. Chargé d’ Affaires, a.i. (CDA) Nestor N. Padalhin formally opened the meeting with a short message thanking the officers of the Filipino community for their continued support for the various activities and programs of the Embassy. CDA Padalhin also encouraged all Filipino nationals to register with the Embassy.

The highlight of the meeting was the candid question and answer (Q&A) session between the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the officers of the Embassy. Pertinent information regarding registration procedures to avail of the MRP and other related matters were thoroughly discussed by Vice Consul Dennis Briones.

Questions on who are entitled to avail of the MRP and the repercussions of their return to the Philippines after working in Syria without going through proper recruitment processes were raised.

Embassy personnel clarified that the purpose of the interviews and actions being done by the personnel of the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT) are meant to ascertain the modus operandi of human traffickers so as to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. The OFWs were likewise informed that they can still work in other countries except Syria.

The benefits being extended by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and other consular and assistance-to-nationals (ATN) matters were likewise discussed.

The meeting ended with a positive impression as it clarified some misconceptions surrounding the implementation of the MRP. The OFWs, in turn, promised to register with the Embassy. They also promised to spread the word about the MRP to fellow OFWs in Syria.

The meeting was attended by at least 60 Filipinos. The Embassy was represented by CDA Nestor Padalhin, Consul Alfredo Borlongan, Vice Consul Dennis Briones, Cultural Officer Zenaida Labrador and Information Officer Jesus Franzuela. The RRT was represented by Mr. Hector Cruz of OWWA Manila, and Mr. Maynard Maleon of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (DFA-OUMWA).

The Philippine Embassy in Damascus, together with the Philippine Government’s Rapid Response Team (RRT), conducted a meeting with the officers and members of the Filipino community in Syria on September 16, aiming to update Filipinos in Syria on the status of the ongoing Mandatory Repatriation Program (MRP) being spearheaded by the Embassy.

The meeting, which was held at the St. Francis Church in Damascus, took place after a regular Sunday mass. Chargé d’ Affaires, a.i. (CDA) Nestor N. Padalhin formally opened the meeting with a short message thanking the officers of the Filipino community for their continued support for the various activities and programs of the Embassy. CDA Padalhin also encouraged all Filipino nationals to register with the Embassy.

The highlight of the meeting was the candid question and answer (Q&A) session between the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the officers of the Embassy. Pertinent information regarding registration procedures to avail of the MRP and other related matters were thoroughly discussed by Vice Consul Dennis Briones.

Questions on who are entitled to avail of the MRP and the repercussions of their return to the Philippines after working in Syria without going through proper recruitment processes were raised.

Embassy personnel clarified that the purpose of the interviews and actions being done by the personnel of the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT) are meant to ascertain the modus operandi of human traffickers so as to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. The OFWs were likewise informed that they can still work in other countries except Syria.

The benefits being extended by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and other consular and assistance-to-nationals (ATN) matters were likewise discussed.

The meeting ended with a positive impression as it clarified some misconceptions surrounding the implementation of the MRP. The OFWs, in turn, promised to register with the Embassy. They also promised to spread the word about the MRP to fellow OFWs in Syria.

The meeting was attended by at least 60 Filipinos. The Embassy was represented by CDA Nestor Padalhin, Consul Alfredo Borlongan, Vice Consul Dennis Briones, Cultural Officer Zenaida Labrador and Information Officer Jesus Franzuela. The RRT was represented by Mr. Hector Cruz of OWWA Manila, and Mr. Maynard Maleon of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (DFA-OUMWA).

dfa.gov.ph