The Straits Times
Published on Sep 04, 2012

Philippines steps up repatriations from Syria


MANILA (AP) - Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has flown to Syria to speed up the repatriation of more than 1,000 Filipino workers trying to escape the increasing violence there.

Some of the obstacles the government faced until recently was having to pay refunds to Syrian employers for unfinished contracts and fees levied by the Syrian government.

A foreign affairs spokesman said on Tuesday that the Philippine government has now obtained waivers from employers.

Mr Del Rosario said in a statement that President Benigno Aquino III wants to ensure Filipinos' safety and repatriate as many of them as possible. He left for Syria on Monday.