MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN): The government has ordered the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos in Iraq amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.
In a Facebook Live early Wednesday (Jan 8), Chargé d’Affaires Jomar Sadie said that Iraq has been placed under Alert Level 4, or mandatory repatriation.
“The marching orders to us was mandatory repatriation, ” he said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the raising of Alert Level 4 in Iraq was “a result of the government’s coordination meetings on the situation in the Middle East in the past few days.”
“The Alert Level in the entire Iraq has been raised to Alert Level 4 calling for mandatory evacuation, ” DFA Assistance Secretary Eduardo Meñez told reporters in a message.
Sadie advised Filipinos in Iraq to coordinate with the embassy as well as their respective employers.
Filipinos may secure their exit visas and plane tickets needed for their repatriation from their employers, he noted.
“For the ticket...from what we’ve usually seen from employees here, the company will shoulder the cost, ” he said.
“Ngayon kung wala po kayong employer or biktima ng human trafficking, tumawag din po kayo sa amin para matulungan namin kayo o pumunta directly sa embassy kung nandito po kayo sa Baghdad
"If you do not have an employer or if you’re a victim of human trafficking, you can call us so that we can extend help or you can directly go to the embassy if you are staying in Baghdad, ” he added.
For Filipinos whose employers would not allow them to return to the Philippines, Sadie also advised them to coordinate with the embassy.
“Call us and we will be the ones who will talk with your employer...We have a translator here or we can talk directly with your employers, ” he added.
Filipinos in need of assistance can contact the embassy at 07816066822; 07516167838; 07518764665; 07508105240 or through the email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The DFA earlier advised Filipinos to cancel all travel to Iraq as tensions continue to rise in the region following the death of Iran’s top general in a US airstrike near Baghdad’s airport.
President Rodrigo Duterte had also ordered the military to prepare its aircraft and ships for the possible repatriation of OFWs in the Middle East. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network