THE DAVAO regional office of the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA-11) said they are ready to roll out the livelihood assistance program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be coming home from the Middle East. Carmelo T. Elaya, chief for programs and services division of OWWA-11, told media in a forum earlier this week that there are 34 registered OFWs from the Region, with 24 working in Iraq and 10 in Iran. Mr. Elaya said the “Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay” program includes a P20,000 assistance for each OFW. The government is already implementing the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos in the Middle East amid the United States-Iran tension in the region. The OWWA official said they are hoping that the OFWs from Davao will choose to come home. “The crisis is now in Alert level 4 and OFWs are advised to evacuate. Dapat na silang pauwiin pero kung ayaw nila, decision na ‘yan ng mga OFWs (They really should come home, but the final decision is still up to them),” he said. OWWA-11 has formed a task force that will focus on assisting the OFWs from the Middle East. — Maya M. Padillo