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Syrian Employers Demand US$ 10,000 For Release of Trapped OFWs – DFA
Syrian employers are demanding from the Philippine government up to US$ 10,000 in exchange for the release of Filipino workers who wanted to return to Manila to escape the raging violence in Syria, a Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman said Tuesday.
DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said the amount represents the processing and deployment fees paid by Syrian employers when they hired the Filipinos to work for them as household workers.
The Philippine Embassy in Syria is working out the repatriation of more than 1,000 Filipinos but the huge amount of money being demanded by Syrian employers are delaying their return to the Philippines.
“Negotiation is very tedious because we have to talk to our employers who are asking US$ 4,000 to about US$ 10,000 now,” Hernandez told a news conference.
“We really need to negotiate and we have to tell them how much we can afford,” he said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross recently said the conflict in Syria should be treated as a full-blown civil war as hostilities have spilled over to other parts of the country.
Another challenge, Hernandez added, is the illegal recruitment of Filipinos in Syria, which is in defiance of a travel ban imposed by the Philippine government since the bloody uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began last year.
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