KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is ready to provide support to Overseas Filipinos (OFs) who are expected to arrive in the country anytime following the mandatory repatriation directive of President Rodrigo Duterte amid the tension in the Middle East after Iranian forces fired missiles at U.S. troops in Iraqi territory to retaliate for an airstrike that killed a top general.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said the agency prepared its Home for Girls and Women facility located in Tantangan town in South Cotabato where arriving OFs from Iraq and Iran will be profiled, given necessary assistance, including psychosocial interventions.

Nairah Aratuc, chief of social protective program, will have a coordination meeting with local officials and partner agencies from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and Department of Trade and Industry, to discuss other interventions for OFs on Monday.

Dir. Espejo the office will provide 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.

“We have set aside funds OFs financial assistance. We will make them feel that their taxes being used in the right purpose,” Dir. Espejo said

An estimated 2.17 million documented Filipinos are working across the Middle East, many of them employed as laborers or domestic helpers. (JBM/ DSWD)