Help desk established to assist Negrense OFWs
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), which is based in Western Visayas, may possibly send troops to the Middle East amid the ongoing repatriation efforts for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). The forced repatriation stemmed from recent tensions between the United States and Iran following the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
3ID spokesperson, Army Captain Cenon Pancito, said they have not yet received complete information as to how many of their personnel will be deployed but, noted, they are fully prepared for the government’s plans and their personnel are ready if needed.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they will send at least two battalions of soldiers as part of the government’s humanitarian mission to evacuate Filipino citizens in Iraq.
Aside from soldiers, the Armed Forces of the Philippines will also deploy air and sea assets to facilitate the repatriation.
Meanwhile, in response to the ongoing crisis, the Negros Occidental provincial government has set up the Inter-Agency Help Desk for Negrense OFWs and their families.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, in a memorandum signed Thursday, said the help desk is open 24 hours and will help those who want to contact relatives and concerned government agencies.
The help desk is co-chaired by provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz./DGB, WDJ