OFWs ban in Syria following Alert Level 3

Syria Damascus Douma Protests 2011 - 31
Following the move of the Department of Foreign Affairs raising the alert level situation in Syria from alert level 3 covering the governorates of Homs, Daraa, and Latakia, to alert level 3 covering the entire country, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that the Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, has temporarily banned the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Syria.
“The temporary ban covers all workers planning to work in Syria for the first time, or new hires, and those returning workers to Syria, or re-hires,” Baldoz said.
The decision, she said, was reached in view of the escalating violence that impact on the security situation in Syria as assessed by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The DFA’s assessment of Alert Level 3 means that all Filipinos working and residing in Syria are enjoined to leave Syria.
“The alert calls for voluntary repatriation,” Baldoz explained.
Baldoz said she has directed the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, headed by Labor Attache Angel Borja Jr., to work closely with the officials of the Philippine Embassy in Damascus in intensifying efforts to reach out to Filipinos and convincing them that now is the best time to consider leaving Syria. Based on the latest report of Labor Attache Borja, there are 2,287 documented OFWs registered with the Labor Office as of July 2011.
She also advised families of Syria-based OFWs not to hesitate to call the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration 24/7 Assistance Center at 8336992, 5511560, AND 09178986992, or the Welfare Office hotline in Damascus at +963 116 125 138,  or e-mail at syria@owwa.gov.ph,  if they need more information about the present situation in Syria.