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Home in one piece: Angara urges gov’t to ensure safe return of OFWs from Libya

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Re-electionist Senator Sonny Angara called on the government to ensure the safe repatriation of Filipinos amid the escalating military tension in Libya.

Angara appealed to Filipino workers in the North African country to heed the Department of Foreign Affairs call for voluntary repatriation as its raised the alert level for Filipinos in Libya to Level III.

“We are appealing to all our kababayan in Libya to remove themselves out of harm’s way by getting themselves repatriated to the Philippines. We also ask the government to ensure the safe return of Filipinos who wish to avail of the repatriation program,” said the lawmaker from Aurora who is running under the platform “Alagang Angara.”

Angara said affected OFWs should not worry about returning home because the reintegration program of the government is already set.

“Huwag sanang mag-alinlangan ang ating kababayang OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) dahil may mga programa ang gobyerno para sa kanila,” Angara said. “Ang benepisyong ito ay nanggaling mismo sa kanilang bulsa kaya marapat lamang na sila ay makinabang dito lalo na sa panahong kailangan nila ng tulong.”

Angara co-authored and sponsored RA 10801, also known as the OWWA Act of 2016, that provides a wide array of services and benefits to OFWs funded by the $25 membership fee collected from them every two years.

On top of the OWWA funds, Angara said the Senate allocated an additional P100 million for the emergency repatriation program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) under the 2019 national budget.

“The additional funding would provide the department a standby fund for the repatriation of distressed OFWs in cases of outbreaks or crisis in their host countries,” said Angara, who sponsored the DOLE’s 2019 budget being the vice chair of the Senate finance committee.

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