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Govt ready to assist Filipinos affected by tensions in Egypt, says Aquino

MANILA,Aug. 22 — The Philippine embassy in Egypt has an initial $240,000 that could be used for the repatriation of Filipinos who remain in that country in the midst of the continuing tensions there, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Wednesday.

In an interview during a visit in an evacuation center in Mandaluyong City, the President said there are between 5,000 to 6,000 Filipinos who stay in Egypt, mostly students and domestic helpers.

“Initially, there are only five who are coming home today at marami ang nagre-resist dahil ayaw raw nilang mawalan ng trabaho. But the situation is really serious,” the President said.

“We will not call for level 4, which is forced repatriation, but I’m sure the embassy in Egypt has been preparing for this, and has been actively trying to encourage our countrymen to ensure their safety to leave Egypt at this time, he said.”

The President also assured that the government will assist returning OFWs from Egypt by giving locally available jobs and livelihood assistance similar to what the administration did to OFWs affected by the Arab Spring.

He said that the AG&P, a manufacturing facility based in Batangas, hired 4,000 Filipinos displaced by the Arab Spring.

The labor department and other government agencies like the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) will be preparing to assist OFWs who will return home, the President said.

The government automatically releases such support, he said, adding that since the number of affected Filipinos in Egypt is significant, concerned government agencies will act on it.#

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