The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is teaming up with the Department of Foreign Affairs in urging overseas Filipino workers in conflict-hit countries to avail of repatriation.
CBCP Episcopal Commission on Migrant and Itinerant People chairman and Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said they are targeting Filipinos in countries such as Libya, Syria and Yemen.
“In conflict-ridden country like Libya, we have more or less 4,000 countrymen working in oil fields, hospitals, and medical facilities to whom this offer of repatriation is being extended. Unfortunately, only a few wanted to take the flight home,” he said.
Santos said in Syria, officials of the Philippine Embassy had convinced 5,000 to 6,000 Filipino workers to respond positively to the repatriation option.
On the other hand, he said some 1,000 Filipinos in Yemen are awaiting the government’s crisis management team.
The prelate said his office and the DFA are trying to persuade OFWs in these countries to think of their safety first before the desire to earn money.
He said he hopes OFWs will think of their lives and well-being before the opportunity to earn money.
Also, he said Filipinos should remain in the Philippines to work, instead of opting to seek greener pastures abroad.
Meanwhile, Santos highlighted the beauty of families staying together, in time for National Migrants Sunday on Feb. 22.
“As we celebrate the 29th National Migrants’ Sunday, we would like highlight the beauty of family members staying together, united in their love with one another,” Santos said.
He lauded OFWs for their selflessness and the sacrifices they make to give the best life possible for their families – while sustaining the economy with their remittances.