PH Embassy in Beirut Repatriates Second Group of Distressed Overseas Filipinos
The repatriates flanked by (left) Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon Raymond Balatbat and (right) Third Secretary and Vice-Consul Miko Cabatingan. (Beirut PE photo)
BEIRUT 27 July 2021 — The Philippines Embassy in Beirut repatriated its second batch of distressed overseas Filipinos (OFs) on 25 July 2021. The 12 repatriates include six runaways housed in the Embassy shelter, two detainees, and two minor children. All of the distressed OFs were undocumented and were victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
The repatriates were sent off by Philippine Ambassador Raymond R. Balatbat, Third Secretary and Vice-Consul Miko Cabatingan, and the Embassy’s entire Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) unit.
The repatriates thanked the Embassy for its efforts in extending the much needed assistance (i.e., welfare, immigration, and legal), despite the hurdles they faced in the domestic administrative processes, and in finally arranging their return home.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) also extended assistance by providing quarantine accommodations upon their arrival in Manila and funding their onward domestic flights to their respective provinces.
The recruitment and deployment of newly-hired Filipino workers bound for Lebanon remains illegal to date.
The Embassy continuously offers repatriation and welfare assistance to distressed OFs and their children, including victims of abuse. Extending ATN services remains as the Embassy’s topmost priority, especially with the on-going political and economic crisis and worsening COVID-19 pandemic in the country. END