A few days after Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz ordered all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices to prioritize the repatriation of distressed Filipino domestic workers housed in Filipino Workers Resource Centers (FWRCs) around the world, the POLO in Beirut has reported that it sent home yesterday 54 domestic workers.

“I am happy to welcome back to the Philippines the 54 OFWs. This brings down the number of residents in the FWRC in the Lebanese capital to only eight,” Baldoz said after receiving the report that the domestic workers have arrived.

Baldoz, who was in Lebanon last week to sign two landmark labor agreements with her Lebanese counterpart, Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas, had visited the FWRC at the POLO and assured the distressed domestic workers there that the Philippine government is doing its best to promote and enhance their welfare and protection.

“I would want you to go home and stay in the country where you will be united with your families. There are productive opportunities that await you there,” she said.

During her visit, Labor Attache Salome Mendoza assured the Secretary that the distressed domestic workers at the FWRCs will go home “very soon.”

That “very soon” was yesterday when Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Carmelita Dimzon informed the Secretary that the OWWA met at the airport the 54 domestic workers upon their arrival at the NAIA.

“The 54 domestic workers are now temporarily housed at the OWWA Halfway House,” said Baldoz.

“They have been briefed and oriented onto the National Reintegration Program for OFWs which offers opportunities for their staying put in the country after their unfortunate adventure in Lebanon,” she added.

Baldoz said the domestic workers could join the Balik-Pinay Balik Hanapbuhay Program, which provides repatriated OFWs P10,000 in livelihood business development, skills training, and livelihood starter kits when they engage in income-generating home-based businesses, such as cosmetology, manicure/pedicure, haircutting, hairdressing, foot spa, reflexology, massage, flower arrangement, food processing, meat processing, green skills, handicraft, and household care.

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