KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) vowed to extend assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers that will be repatriated from the oil-rich Iraq and Iran amid the escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, made the assurance as the government ordered the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos woking in the gulf hours before the ballistic missiles attacks targeting two US airbase in Baghdad following the assassination of a top Iranian general in a U.S. drone strike.

Dir. Espejo said he directed Naira Aratuc, head of agency’s protective services division, to ensure that assistance will be extended once OFs affected by the conflict from the gulf arrive in the region.

Aside from educational and financial assistance under Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), a program that serves as a social safety net or a stop-gap measure to support the recovery of individuals and families suffering from unexpected life events or crisis, social workers will assess returning OFs to determine what other needs would be provided when they are in their hometowns.

“Our staff will coordinate with our partner agency – the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – to determine the location of the workers that will be arriving soon,” Dir. Espejo said. 

“We will help them in getting alternative employment opportunities,” he added.

Residents in Central Mindanao who have love ones working in Iraq and Iran can contact the Philippine Consulate via +966 555 219 613 and +966 555 219 614. (JBM / DSWD)