FOUR Filipinos, two of them victims of human trafficking, from the northern province of Erbil, Iraq arrived in Manila on Friday afternoon bringing the total number of Filipinos repatriated to 21, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Both were received by the DFA and subsequently endorsed to members of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) who were also at the airport for its appropriate investigation.
“The recent arrivals are part of the efforts of the Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) that we deployed in Iraq,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.
“Following the inter-agency meeting facilitated by Secretary (Teodoro) Locsin Jr., the DFA sent two RRTs in Iraq, one in Baghdad and another in Erbil, to expedite the process of repatriation of those who expressed their willingness to go home,” Arriola added.
The RRTs arrived in Baghdad and Erbil on 20 and 21, respectively.
Almost a week after Alert Level 4 (mandatory repatriation) was raised in the entire country of Iraq on January 8, thirteen OFWs returned home on January 15.
This was followed by two arrivals from Baghdad on January17, one from Erbil on January 21, and another from Basra on Thursday.