26 Filipinos arrive from Egypt

TWENTY six Filipinos from Egypt arrived Sunday afternoon at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

They composed the first batch of Filipinos who availed of the voluntary repatriation program by the Embassy and the DFA in the light of the on-going political upheaval in Egypt. They came in at 4:15 on board an Emirate airlines from Dubai.

The first batch – 14 women, 10 minors and two men – consisted of Filipino scholars from Al Azhar University and their families, three nurses from Dar Al Faoud Hospital and household service workers.

DFA Undersecretary for Migrante Workers Affairs Esteban B. Conejos and DFA-OUMWA Executive Director Ricardo M. Endaya together with DFA-OUMWA personnel welcomed the first batch of repatriates at the airport.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) representatives headed by Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon and Office of the Vice President (OVP) representatives were also present to welcome the repatriates.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Manila Office Director Ovais Sarmad likewise welcomed and assisted the repatriates at the airport.

The Philippine Embassy in Cairo reported to the DFA that it is making arrangements for a second batch of Filipino repatriates, with an initial number of about 20, which will depart Cairo on Tuesday and arrive in Manila on Wednesday.

The Embassy received assistance from the IOM office in Cairo in making arrangements for the first and the second batches of Filipino repatriates. The Filipino community organizations also actively assisted in the arrangements.

In an earlier report of Charge d’Affaires Eduardo Pablo Maglaya, most Filipino community members consider themselves relatively safe in their residences and neighborhoods, and are hopeful that the current political impasse will be resolved soon.

There are now steady supplies of food and water in Cairo. Banks have reopened, and people can withdraw money from automated teller machines.

In the Embassy’s assessment, there is no need for mandatory evacuation of Filipino community members at this time. There have likewise been no reports of Filipinos attacked or injured in the ongoing protest actions.

Nonetheless, Filipino community members who feel that their safety is at risk can avail of the Embassy’s voluntary repatriation program. The Embassy continues to reiterate to the Filipino community the government’s willingness to provide the said assistance.

The DFA stated that the Philippine Government is focused on the safety and welfare of Filipinos in Egypt.-

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