Iloilo prov’l gov’t in close coordination with OWWA, DOLE for immediate repatriation of Ilonggo OFWs

PHOTO CAPTION: Iloilo provincial administrator Atty. Suzette Mamon (right) is busy coordinating with OWWA and DOLE to arrange for the immediate repatriation of Ilonggo OFWs trapped in the war zone in Afghanistan, where Afghan nationals themselves rush to leave their country as in this image (background) taken in the first few hours of the Taliban takeover. (Photos courtesy of Radyo Pilipinas and NDTV)

ILOILO–The Iloilo Provincial Government, thru the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), is deep in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for the immediate repatriation of Ilonggo overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), if any, trapped in the crisis in Afghanistan.

The Central Asian country is now in the middle of chaos brought about by the return to power of the fundamentalist group the Taliban following the fall of Kabul, the nation’s capital, and the departure of President Ashraf Ghani to the United Arab Emirates.

According to Iloilo Provincial Administrator Atty. Suzette Mamon, they are now verifying if there are Ilonggos based in Afghanistan.

Presently, PESO has not yet provided data about Ilonggo families asking for help in the Bulig Ilonggo program that the provincial government recently activated to help Ilonggos in need in the Afghan capital.

If there are indeed Ilonggos stuck anywhere in Afghanistan, Bulig Ilonggo will provide them with links or communication with which to contact their families here.

“We are facilitating, together with OWWA and DOLE, their immediate repatriation. The coordination is with our national (government) agencies,” Atty. Mamon said.

To note, many Afghans and foreigners are scrambling to leave Afghanistan after the Taliban, who held sway in this country until 2001 when they were ousted with the help of the United States, came back to power over the weekend by taking over many places in the country, including the capital Kabul.

Ghani, in an earlier address yesterday while on exile in the UAE, reasoned out that he had to leave Kabul to prevent bloodshed, and denied reports that he took large sums of money with him as he left the presidential palace.

Meanwhile, at least 5,000 diplomats, security staff, aid workers, and Afghans were evacuated from the capital, according to an unnamed Western security official, as countries sought to step up evacuation efforts. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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