News Release

4th Laging Handa Dokyu “Repatriation” turns spotlight on returning OFWs from Lebanon

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) will showcase today the repatriation process of over 300 distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Beirut, Lebanon amid the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the fourth episode of the Laging Handa Dokyu series.

The PCOO Office of the Global Media and Public Affairs and Radio Television Malacañang flew to Beirut in a chartered flight organized by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs to capture the journey of the OFWs to get their stories of hardship and sacrifice while providing for their families back home amid the pandemic.

The documentary will give viewers exclusive access to the repatriation process of OFWs from the pre-departure, the 13-hour flight back to Manila, the mandatory quarantine period, up until their departure to their home provinces.

“The Duterte administration recognizes the big contribution of our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in our economy. They are considered as the modern heroes, as they sacrifice themselves to work abroad to provide for their families and our nation, even as they have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte assured that the OFWs are brought home safe, and are provided with livelihood assistance for their new lives here in our country,” PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said.

The 31-hour mission on September 25-26, 2020, was led by Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Robert Eric A. Borje as Special Envoy for the repatriation and goodwill mission in Beirut, Lebanon, following the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to safely bring back the OFWs.

The same documentary also featured the goodwill mission in Beirut, where the Philippine delegation turned over 5,000 boxes of relief goods, 3,000 boxes of surgical masks, 27,500 face shields, and 1,000 boxes of vitamins  for the Filipino community in Beirut, and partner Lebanese institutions and organizations.

“Like what President Duterte said, the OFWs’ role is important not just because they remit dollars to our country, but because of their sacrifice. Your role is important because of your sacrifices. You are all not just a number. You are our brothers and sisters, our children, our parents and our friends. You all deserve to be served by the government because of your sacrifices,” Undersecretary Borje told the OFWs as they returned to Manila.

The government was able to repatriate 204,481 OFWs as of September 2020, 2,596 of which were brought home from Lebanon since December last year.

 “The fourth documentary is part of the PCOO’s commitment to not only inform the public, but also to demystify every component and every effort of the government in response to the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary JV Arcena, who is the Production Head and Executive Producer of the Laging Handa Dokyu.

The succeeding episodes of the Laging Handa Dokyu will provide insights on the country’s development of testing laboratories, participation in clinical trials, contact tracing and testing efforts, the best practices of local government units, and the experiences of some government officials hit by COVID-19.

Catch the fourth episode of the Laging Handa Dokyu series entitled “Repatriation” tonight at 9:30 PM on PTV-4 and IBC-13. It will also be livestreamed on the PCOO’s social media accounts, as well as the NTF COVID-19 and Department of Foreign Affairs Facebook pages, and other government-affiliated social media pages.

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