Left photo: Ambassador Bernardita Catalla (left) with Lt. Georges Ebre, who briefed the Embassy personnel and provided a quick tour of the border immigration facilities. Right photo: The Philippine Embassy team headed by Ambassador Catalla (4th from right) with Labor Attaché Violeta Illescas (rightmost) pose for a photo at the entrance of the Heliopolis with Mr, Mustafa El Chell (5th from left), Head of the media committee, Municipality of Baalbek,representing Mayor General Hussein El Lakkis.

04 January 2018 BEIRUT — Personnel of the Philippine Embassy in Beirut conducted a site inspection on 23 December 2017 of Masnaa, Lebanon’s border with Syria.  Masnaa border in the Bekaa Valley, eastern Lebanon, serves as the primary transit point used by the Philippine Embassy in Beirut and the Philippine Embassy in Damascus in facilitating the repatriation of Filipinos returning from Syria to the Philippines. 

It will be recalled that joint repatriation operations by the two Philippine Embassies during the period of 2012 to 2013 brought home almost 5,000 OFWs at the height of the Syrian conflict. 

Embassy personnel were briefed by the border management officers on the daily operations at the border.  During the briefing, the Embassy team was informed that Masnaa border receives an estimated 5000 visitors from Syria and processes the exit of some 2000 to 3000 visitors from Lebanon every day.   Ambassador Catalla and the Embassy officers were also given a quick tour and an opportunity to observe the operations of the border immigration facilities. - END