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DFA raises crisis alert level in Yemen to 3; sets repatriation of Filipinos there

/ 04:54 PM May 24, 2011

MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday raised the crisis alert level in Yemen to 3 in the light of the continuing political tension and escalating violence in the capital city of Sanaa.

It also announced that it is ready to repatriate Filipinos in Yemen who wish to leave the country at government’s expense.

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“For prudence’s sake and upon the instructions of President Benigno S. Aquino III, we have raised crisis alert level 3 in Yemen in light of escalating violence in the capital where most of our nationals are located.  We are ready to move our people out of harm’s ways and the teams from the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah stationed there are prepared to implement the voluntary repatriation program,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario said in a statement.

Under crisis alert level 3, voluntary repatriation at government’s expense will be offered to Filipinos who wish to leave Yemen in light of the escalating tensions.  In coordination with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), a deployment ban is put in place effective immediately.   Likewise, all Filipinos are advised not to travel to Yemen at this time.

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The Embassy teams instructed the Filipino community in Yemen to actively monitor ongoing developments, keep their communication lines open with the Embassy teams in Sanaa and Aden and with their designated community coordinators.

They have also been advised to keep an emergency bag ready with clothing, water, canned goods and medicine, for themselves and for their family members, and with important documents such as passports and money ready and at hand.

There are 1,422 Filipinos in Yemen registered with the Embassy.  Many of them  are working in companies whose employers assured the Embassy that they have an evacuation plan for their employees should there be a need to move them out.  About 80 of them are on vacation and are out of the country on extended leave of absence.

Charge d’Affaires Ezzedin Tago and a five-man team from the Embassy are in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa to implement the contingency plan.  A separate three-man team from the Consulate General is stationed at the port city of Aden for the same purpose. The Embassy in Riyadh covers Yemen.

On March 10, the DFA raised alert level 2 in Yemen, where it urged Filipinos to voluntarily relocate or leave the country if they have no pressing need to remain, as well as to actively monitor developments and be prepared for emergencies.

The Embassy hotline numbers for Yemen are +966-536-881-787.

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TAGS: Features, foreign relations, ofws, political unrest, repatriation
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