OFWs in Egypt advised to prepare for evacuation

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03:04 PM July 9th, 2013

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MANILA, Philippines- Filipinos in Cairo, Egypt have been advised to prepare for possible evacuation as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has raised crisis alert level two in Egypt due to the ongoing civil unrest in the country.

“Upon the advice of our Embassy in Cairo, the secretary of foreign affairs has raised crisis alert level two over Egypt, in view of the
deteriorating peace and order situation in the country,” DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez told reporters in a briefing Tuesday.

“All Filipinos in Egypt are advised to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, and to prepare for possible evacuation,” Hernandez said.

The Egyptian military ousted president Mohammed Morsi last week after days of mass protests in Cairo.

At least 51 people were killed recently after the army had fired upon a sit in protest by The Muslim Brotherhood, a group supporting Morsi.

The group called for more protests across Egypt. Hernandez said that because of the crisis alert level two, the deployment of newly hired Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Egypt will be put on hold.

Those OFWs who already have existing contracts may proceed “but we strongly advice them to take precautionary measures, those who have yet to register with the embassy should do so,” Hernandez said.

He also advised the public to postpone non-essential trips to Egypt.

“There are 5,953 Filipinos in Egypt,” according to Hernandez.

The DFA was continuously monitoring the situation in Egypt and coordinating with the Philippine Embassy there who will issue a recommendation to upgrade the crisis alert level.

Crisis alert level three will mean the beginning of voluntary repatriation, Hernandez said.

When asked if the DFA was ready in the event of an evacuation, he said: “we are very prepared.”

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