Santiago City Readies Livelihood Program for Lebanon OFWs

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Byline: BINGO CADABONA

SANTIAGO CITY -- Officials in this city are now crafting a livelihood program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who fled from war-torn Lebanon and returned here to face an uncertain future.

The officials said the action is in response to what has been perceived as the slow action by government in assisting the OFWs, whom President Arroyo has called as "modern heroes."

Mayor Amelita Navarro said the assistance of the city government to the repatriated OFWs would come in the form of training through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and through the grant of capital that could be used to start small businesses.

Earlier, Navarro allowed relatives of OFWs to call their family members in Lebanon for free, especially when the fighting was still raging.

She said the city government was in constant contact with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and issued advisories to relatives of OFWs.

Navarro hopes OFWs from this city could leave safely after the United Nations (UN)-brokered ceasefire between Israel and the Shiite Hezbollah militia went into effect. …