February 21, 2023
The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) calls on the Philippine Government to give priority and immediate assistance to the 248 affected Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria. According to a statement by the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, six Filipinos, including a woman and her three children who were previously reported missing, were confirmed dead in the aftermath of the deadliest earthquake to hit Turkey this century.
“The Philippine government through its embassy in Turkey should promptly help with the repatriation of Filipino survivors and provide financial compensation and psychosocial support to the bereaved families of the Filipinos who died in this devastating calamity,” said Peter Murphy, ICHRP Chairperson.
The earthquake, which struck southeastern Turkey in the early morning of February 6, has a current death toll of over 40,000 in Turkey alone. In Hatay, one of the worst-hit provinces in the country, at least 80% of the buildings were reduced to rubble. Syria has reported a death toll of at least 6,000 people.
“ICHRP remains firm on its call to rescind labor export policies which have been a staple feature of all administrations in the post-Marcos era. President Bongbong Marcos should instead prioritize improving the Philippine economy to generate quality local jobs to stop the forced migration of millions of Filipinos every year in search of high-paying jobs abroad,” concluded Murphy.
Further comment: Peter Murphy, ICHRP Chairperson, +61418312301