DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment said it is ready to repatriate overseas Filipino workers from Guam should conflict arise in the United States territory following the military tension between the US and North Korea.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government has a reintegration program in place for some 100,000 OFWs in Guam. Bello also said there is funding available for the repatriation of the migrant workers.
“The moment na magkakaroon ng problema doon (Should a problem arise), we are ready to repatriate them, we have enough funds. In fact, if you recall the State of the Nation Address of the President, he mentioned that we only ask for P400 million he gave us P1 billion,” he said.
Since Guam is near the Philippines, Bello said repatriation will not cost much.
“Besides the Filipinos there, most of them, are already immigrants. Maybe they will opt to stay,” he said.
The labor official said he believes the North Korea is just “bluffing” when it threatened to send four missiles to within 30 to 40 kilometers of Guam.
“Nagba-bluff lang yan (They are just bluffing),” he said.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces spokesman, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said while the country does not have anti-missile systems to put down a launched missile to guard the country against such threat, the civil defense is prepared for the possible effect if the airstrike will push through, particularly the debris that might hit the country’s side in the Pacific.
“We don’t see this as potentially hitting us in any way because it is directed towards an outer island in the Pacific itself. So whatever fallout it may have, maybe because of debris, if it disintegrates up there. So these are things that are still in our preparations, the government’s civil defense side has preparations for that,” Padilla said. (davaotoday.com)