Gov’t gets more Filipinos out of troubled Yemen
More Filipinos are arriving back in the Philippines from strife-torn Yemen as the government continues to carry out their evacuation and repatriation.
So far, 464 Filipinos and nine foreigners have been evacuated by land in four batches through the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border since April 5, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.
The group that arrived in Riyadh on April 9 was composed of 79 Filipinos, four Singaporeans, one Yemeni spouse and one Egyptian spouse.
They began their trip in Sanaa, Yemen, in the morning, arriving in Saudi Arabia in the evening. They were assisted at the border by a Philippine consulate team led by acting Consul General Leo Tito Ausan Jr.
Of the 464 Filipinos brought out of Yemen, the Philippine government has repatriated 240.
The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh arranged their travel to Manila on April 8, 10 and 11 on four Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific flights.
One group of 50 arrived in Manila via PAL at 10 a.m. on April 11, while another group of 100 arrived on the same day via Cebu Pacific at 3:50 p.m.
Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Yemen Ezzedin Tago described the evacuation and transit as “generally smooth” despite the danger.
“I again strongly urge all Filipinos who remain in Yemen to immediately contact the embassy team and arrange for their evacuation immediately,” Tago said.
On Feb. 18, the Philippine government raised the alert level to 4 and implemented the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos in Yemen due to the deteriorating security situation in the country.
“We hope everyone in Yemen will respond positively to our advice and contact the crisis management team (CMT) based in Sanaa to arrange for their repatriation,” Tago said.
The DFA said the CMT could be contacted through telephone numbers +967 730-194165, +967 737-426292, +967 733-844958 and +967 738-451828, or via e-mail to [email protected]
Financial, livelihood aid
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment has assured Filipino workers repatriated from Yemen and Libya of financial and livelihood assistance.
“Those who want to avail of livelihood aid, especially for their families here in the Philippines, we have such assistance. For those who want to be transferred to other countries, we have employment facilitation assistance for them,” said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.
Baldoz said OFWs affected by the mandatory repatriation due to the security crisis in Yemen and Libya may be redeployed to other countries that need their skills.
“Our repatriation to redeployment for reemployment plan guarantees the security as well as the economic welfare of our OFWs,” Baldoz said in a statement.
“The workers in the construction industry that will be displaced from Libya and Yemen can be referred for reemployment in other regions, mainly Asia and the Middle East,” she said. With a report from Kristine Felisse Mangunay
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