The Philippine government has ordered all Filipinos in Iraq to return to the country as tensions in the Middle East continue to rise.
Chargé d’Affaires Jomar Sadie said on Wednesday in a Facebook Live that Alert Level 4 was already raised in Iraq, which calls for the mandatory repatriation of OFWs there.
“Ang marching orders sa amin e mandatory repatriation,” he said.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the highest alert level was raised in Iraq as “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,” said DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez in his message to reporters.
In the meantime, Sadie advised Filipinos there to coordinate with the consulate and their employers.
He also added that they may get their exit as well as their plane tickets from their employers as these will be needed for the repatriation.
“Tungkol po sa ticket…madalas naming makita sa mga empleyado dito, sagot din po ‘yan ng company,” Sadie 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,” he added.
Meanwhile, for those whose employers would not permit them to go back to the Philippines, Sadie said they should coordinate with the embassy.
“Tawagan niyo po kami at kami po mismo ang kakausap sa employer ninyo… Meron naman po kaming translator dito o pwedeng kami mismo ang kumausap sa kanya,” he said.
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As per the advice of DFA, Filipinos should not continue all travels to Iraq as tensions escalate in the region after the United States launched an airstrike, killing Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines are also preparing for the possible repatriation of OFWs in the Middle East as directed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday.