Saturday, February 12, 2011

3rd batch of Pinoys from Egypt to leave Sunday

The third batch of 36 Filipinos from crisis-stricken Egypt will depart from Cairo on Sunday noon to arrive in Manila via Dubai on Monday afternoon, according to the Philippine Embassy.

The third batch consists of 30 women, three men and three minors who availed of the voluntary repatriation program amid continued protest actions in Egypt, according to arelease posted on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

As in the case of previous batches, the Embassy received assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Cairo and the Filipino community there in arranging the repatriation, according to the release.

The 36 will be given certifications that they may use when availing of programs and services extended by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), the DFA said.

It added they will also receive post-trauma debriefing, counseling and reintegration packages from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

An earlier batch of 26 Filipinos arrived on Sunday, composed of scholars from the Al Azhar University and their families, three nurses from the Dar Al Fouad Hospital, and household service workers. The second batch of 32 Filipinos arrived last Wednesday.

The Embassy reiterated its reminder to the Filipino community members about the government’s readiness to repatriate anyone who feels that his or her safety is at risk.

The DFA cited reports stating that the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces has met to discuss the ongoing protests.

In a statement entitled "Communique Number One" on Thursday, the 17th day of unrest in Egypt, the army stated that "based on the responsibility of the armed forces and its commitment to protect the people and its keenness to protect the nation... and in support of the legitimate demands of the people, [the army] will continue meeting on a continuous basis to examine measures to be taken to protect the nation and its gains and the ambitions of the great Egyptian people."

Tens of thousands poured into Tahrir Square after the army statement was televised, the DFA said.—Jerrie M. Abella/JV, GMA News

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