Social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) interview distressed Overseas Filipinos (OFs) from Beirut, Lebanon and Baghdad, Iraq who arrived on December 25 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with the member-agencies of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) assisted the 37 distressed Overseas Filipinos (OFs) who arrived from Beirut, Lebanon and Baghdad, Iraq on December 25.

DSWD extended financial assistance worth P3,000 to the OFs  without children, while P5,000 was given to those who traveled with their children. DSWD social workers interviewed the repatriates to assess and identify other appropriate services that they may need from the government as they return to their families.

“DSWD as part of the whole-of-government approach ensures the sustainability of government services thru referral to the different government agencies’ Field Offices. Enrolment to the various livelihood programs will provide sustainable solutions to the needs of the repatriated OFs,” Assistant Secretary Glenda D. Relova was with the DSWD team, said.

The Department, through the International Social Service Office (ISSO) and the Social Welfare Attaches (SWAtt), assists distressed, irregular, and undocumented OFs who became victims of abuse, trafficking, illegal recruitment, unfair labor practice, as well as human-induced and natural disasters, including their children who need special protection.

DSWD reminds distressed OFs to seek assistance from the Social Welfare Attaches (SWAtt) in Philippine Embassies or Consular Offices abroad to help them with their concerns.

The Department has seven SWAtt offices which are located in the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Philippine Embassy in Kuwait; Philippine Embassy in Malaysia; Philippine Consulate General in Dubai, UAE; Philippine Embassy in Qatar; and Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong.

“The Department shall continue to assist distressed OFs, providing them with prompt and compassionate service,” Assistant Secretary Relova concluded. -30-