MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is dispatching a team to Syria to bring home as many as 9,000 Filipinos still in that country amid the worsening security situation there, AFP reported Thursday (July 19th).
The team from the departments of foreign affairs, labour and interior will seek to locate the many unregistered Filipinos in Syria and help them leave the country, foreign department spokesman Raul Hernandez said.
He said the team had identified "exit points for mass repatriation" to help the estimated 8,000 to 9,000 Filipinos still in Syria.
Earlier, he said the repatriation of Filipino workers was being hampered by their Syrian employers demanding refunds of as much as $10,000 before they could be allowed to leave. The Philippines has already repatriated over 1,800 workers from Syria.
The government banned Filipinos from working in Syria and ordered a mandatory evacuation of its nationals there in December, some 10 months after an uprising against President Assad broke out.