The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday vowed to expedite the repatriation of the remains of the two Filipinos who are among the casualties in the explosion that rocked Lebanon’s capital Beirut.
“The next of kin of those who died have been duly notified and the necessary assistance is being extended to the family for the immediate repatriation of the dead OFWs to their families in the country,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement.
He also assured that the benefits for the victims of the blast will be immediately released.
Meanwhile, Bello said they are coordinating with Lebanese authorities on the whereabouts of sea-based Filipino workers who went missing after the incident.
“We also note with sadness that 11 others of our OFWs, all sea-based workers docked at the port of Beirut, are still unaccounted for. Our office is coordinating closely with Beirut authorities to locate them and work for their safe return to the country should they decide so,” he added.
He also asked for prayers for other Filipinos who were seriously injured and are being treated in different hospitals in the host country.
“We condole with the families of the two Filipino workers who perished in the tragic accident in Beirut, and pray for the fast recovery of those eight injured, some of them seriously, and still under treatment at various hospitals in that part of Lebanon,” he said.
Meanwhile, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) expressed sadness over the incident.
“It is very sad, tragic news. Our hearts are with them, one with Lebanon in spirits and prayers. We offer our Holy Masses as we inform our Filipino chaplains for their strength, recovery, and continued faith in God,” said Bishop Ruperto Santos, vice chairman of the Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People in an interview.
Santos also prayed for the repose of the souls of the fatalities in the blast.
“We intercede to God’s power healing and remedy to those who are injured. May those left behind find comfort with God. And all of us be united to help and assist in this time of urgent and special need,” he added.
At least 80 were killed while 4,000 others were injured in the blast at a warehouse allegedly storing almost 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate at the Port of Beirut on Tuesday.
The explosion sent shockwaves across the city and caused widespread damage in areas outside the capital.
The country’s Supreme Defense Council has placed Beirut under a state of emergency for two weeks following the incident.
Source: Philippines News Agency