Alert 3: Filipinos told to leave Yemen
MANILA, Philippines—Upon the instructions of Malacañang, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has raised crisis alert level No. 3 in Yemen and called for the voluntary repatriation—at government expense—of the more than 1,420 overseas Filipino workers in troubled Middle East country.
The Department of Labor and Employment has also declared a labor deployment ban to Yemen, effective immediately.
In DFA parlance, crisis alert level 1 means close monitoring of the situation in the host country is called for; alert level 2 advises nationals to avoid public gatherings and mass actions; level 3 urges voluntary repatriation, while alert level 4 is a strong call for all nationals to leave the host country. Alert level 5 is the signal for mandatory evacuation.
With alert level 3 raised, the DFA is “ready to repatriate Filipinos in Yemen who wish to leave the country,” Assistant Foreign Secretary Eduardo Malaya, also DFA spokesperson, said on Tuesday.
“For prudence’s sake and upon the instructions of President Aquino, we have raised the crisis alert level in Yemen in light of the continuing political tension and escalating violence in Sana’a, where most of our nationals are located,” said Malaya.
“(We) are ready to move our people out of harm’s way,” said Malaya.
“Teams from the Philippine embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah stationed there are prepared to implement the government’s voluntary repatriation program,” he noted.
The embassy in the Saudi Arabian capital, headed by Ambassador-designate Ezzedin Tago, has consular jurisdiction over Yemen.
The mission has deployed another team to the port city of Aden to assist in the OFW repatriation program.
On Tuesday, Malaya also announced that “in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment, a labor deployment ban is put in place effective immediately.”
“Likewise, all Filipinos are advised not to travel to Yemen at this time,” he said.
Tago earlier told the Inquirer that the Filipino community in Yemen had ignored the government’s earlier call to voluntary leave the country due to the mounting tensions there.