(PPD photo)

MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Wednesday launched its One Repatriation Center (One Repat-DMW) to provide immediate response to repatriation, welfare, and other concerns of distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

“The One Repat-DMW will help ensure that distressed OFWs are given immediate assistance and are able to come home to their families and loved ones,” DMW Secretary Susan Ople said in a statement.

“In the past, OFWs and their loved ones had to knock on the doors of several government agencies to ask for help. It’s heartbreaking to see families from the provinces traveling all the way to Manila, incurring needless debts and expenses, and dealing with long periods of anxiety while waiting for the response from government agencies,” Ople explained.

Ople said OFWs in distress, or their immediate families or next of kin, need only call the One Repat-DMW hotline “1-348” where a team of case officers, welfare officers, and medical professionals will assist them with their concerns. The center also allows walk-in requests for assistance.

“Ngayon po, ang DMW ang magta-trabaho para matulungan ang ating mga OFW at kung kailangan, maibalik sila sa bansa upang makasama ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay,” Ople said.

The DMW Secretary said the Center will work closely with the DFA, particularly in areas where there are no labor offices.

"Sa mga bansa kung saan wala tayong mga labor attache, makikipag-ugnayan at makikipagtulungan ang DMW sa DFA,” Ople said.

The One Repat-DMW Center is located at the second floor of the Blas F. Ople Building, EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue.

It operates on a 24/7 basis with case and welfare officers working three shifts daily. The center can accommodate calls and walk-ins on regular workdays. Requests can be made through the 1-348 hotline on weekends. The center also maintains a satellite office at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Pasay City.

Ople said the Center is equipped with computers and telephone lines with NDD/IDD capability connecting DMW offices here and abroad.

Ople said in cases where the OFW is unable to call the 1-348 hotline directly, his or her immediate family or next of kin can call the hotline and provide the attending case officers with pertinent details for his or her case. (Reference: Mr. Toby Nebrida, Head, DMW-Strategic Communications Office - 09178329487) (OPS)