PAL-PAF COORDINATION FOR OFW REPATRIATION  

Makati City, Feb. 17, 2003 -- Philippine Air Force (PAF) officials led by Col. Guerzon met with Avelino Zapanta, PAL president to discuss preparations for the repatriation of overseas workers in the Middle East as the United States edges closer to Iraq.

It will be recalled that during the Gulf War in 1991, PAL planes conducted evacuation operations of Filipinos in the Middle East, particularly those in Kuwait and Iraq.

Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo gave the directive for the evacuation of Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) in areas close to the Iraq-Kuwait border.

In her visit to Kuwait recently, the President said the government is ready to evacuate some of the 1.5 million Filipino workers in the Middle East, which range from 60,000 in Kuwait to 850,000 in Saudi Arabia.

During emergencies or calamities in their countries, it is the flag carrier that conducts evacuation operation since foreign airlines would not be expected to do so as they would be looking after their own citizens. (By Lynda C. Valencia, PNA)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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