Vice President Jejomar C. Binay again warned Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) against pursuing work opportunities in Syria.

Binay issued this warning after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed reports that an OFW was shot by armed men in Homs, Syria last February 24.

“Nananawagan po ako sa ating mga kababayan na huwag na munang tumanggap ng trabaho sa Syria,” Binay said.

“Delikado po ang sitwasyon doon ngayon at sa katunayan, marami sa mga OFWs na naroon ay humihingi ng tulong sa embahada para makabalik na sila sa ating bansa,” he added.

Binay also asked the public to remain vigilant against illegal recruitment and human trafficking syndicates that continue to lure job applicants to Syria.

Just last month, member agencies of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) rescued 22 women including several minors bound for the Middle East.

The rescue mission was led by the Office of the Vice President, the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and non-government organizations Blas F. Ople Center and the Visayan Forum Foundation.

The Vice President is the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns and concurrent Chairman Emeritus of the IACAT.

“Two of those whom we rescued were due to fly from Manila to Cebu then onwards to Dubai. According to the caretaker of the house where the women were staying, her boss has contacts in Dubai who will process the OFWs’ entry to Syria,” Binay said.

Binay called on the public and local governments to work with IACAT to report suspicious activities in their neighborhood, to help identify the “safehouses” of the said syndicates.