By Marita Moaje

REPATRIATION. Sixteen overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and a one-month-old infant repatriated from Israel arrive at the NAIA Terminal 3 on Wednesday (Oct. 18, 2023). The Department of Migrant Workers assured that aside from financial assistance, each of the repatriated OFWs will also receive other forms of assistance from government agencies. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – A total of 16 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Israel and a one-month-old infant arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Wednesday.

Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) officer-in-charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac, together with the officials from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Health and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), welcomed the OFWs.

Upon arrival, the OFWs immediately received financial assistance and were assured by the various government agencies of other forms of assistance.

“Bukod sa financial assistance habang kayo ay nasa Israel, kami rin po ay magbibigay ng PHP50,000 para sa inyo. Sasagutin din ng OWWA ang inyong transportasyon hanggang sa inyong mga probinsya at kung connecting flight, hanggang sa hotel accommodation, kasi ganyan namin kayo kamahal (Aside from the financial assistance while you were in Israel, we will also give you PHP50,000. OWWA will also shoulder your transportation expenses to your respective provinces, and if you have connecting flights, even your hotel accommodation, that is how we love you),” OWWA Deputy Administrator Honey Quino told the OFWs.

Other agencies present during the arrival also committed to helping the repatriated OFWs.

TESDA Deputy Director General Aniceto Bertiz said the agency will distribute a scholarship commitment certificate to the returned OFWs, assuring them that they could avail of TESDA’s scholarship program nationwide.

He said TESDA has 17 regional offices and 87 provincial offices, aside from the schools that they run nationwide.

An overseas Filipino worker hugs her loved one upon arrival at the airport from Israel on Wednesday (Oct. 18, 2023). (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

“We are closely coordinating with the Department of Migrant Workers para maihanda kayo. Ang TESDA ay handang tumulong para magkaroon kayo ng new skills at training, kasama na rin yung livelihood program (to prepare you. TESDA is ready to help you acquire new skills and training, including our livelihood program),” Bertiz said.

He added TESDA will also provide financial assistance of PHP5,000 to each of the OFWs, and if they opt to avail of the Skills Training for Employment Program (STEP) such as the bread and pastry training, they would also be given a free oven and other materials needed so they could start with their own business.

Meanwhile, the DOH said they will provide medical assistance, including psycho-social counseling, stress debriefing and medical referral.

Senator Raffy Tulfo, chair of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, and OFW Party-list Rep. Marissa Magsino were also at the NAIA to welcome the repatriated OFWs. (PNA)