By Marita Moaje

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. The 11th batch of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Israel arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Monday (Dec. 11, 2023). The Department of Migrant Workers said the group is composed of 25 caregivers and two hotel workers. (Photo courtesy of DMW)

MANILA – The 11th batch of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Israel arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Monday afternoon, just in time to celebrate Christmas with their families.

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) welcomed to the country 27 returning OFWs, composed of 25 caregivers and two hotel workers, who arrived via Etihad Airways flight EY424.

Senior officials and personnel from concerned government agencies were also present at the NAIA, including the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) led by Deputy Administrator Honey Quiño, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Philippine National Red Cross.

The DMW said this is in compliance with the order of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for a “whole of government approach” in helping all OFWs returning from Israel.

Upon arrival, the OFW returnees were asked to fill up their information sheets which will be used for their monitoring, and as bases for the provision of additional services for them.

They also received immediate assistance upon arrival and other forms of support.

Each OFW returnee received PHP50,000 financial assistance from OWWA, PHP20,000 livelihood assistance from the DSWD, and PHP5,000 and skills training vouchers from TESDA.

The DOH also extended medical assistance to the OFW returnees.

The repatriates will also receive comprehensive reintegration assistance and job facilitation services for other employment opportunities, whether here or in another country.

To date, a total of 362 OFWs and 14 children from Israel, and 61 from Lebanon have been repatriated by the Philippine government since the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched their attack in southern Israel on October 7. (PNA)