Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DFA advises vs travel to Libya, Yemen, Bahrain

DFA advises vs travel to Libya, Yemen, Bahrain

By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) Updated February 22, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) issued yesterday a travel advisory warning Filipinos not to travel to Libya, Bahrain and Yemen where anti-government protest actions have led to killings.

DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos, Jr. said mandatory evacuation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Libya, Bahrain and Yemen is not yet necessary but Filipinos were told to postpone non-essential and non-urgent travel to the three countries.

“Based on our assessment at this time we still do not need mandatory evacuation,” Conejos said.

Conejos said the Philippine government is ready to evacuate Filipinos if it becomes necessary.

Filipinos who are planning to travel to these countries were urged to defer their plans until the security situations have stabilized.

The Philippine embassies in Libya, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which also covers Yemen, have been placed on heightened alert but diplomats assured the government that Filipinos in those countries are safe.

Filipino diplomats are also in constant contact with the OFWs there and have established 24-hour crisis monitoring teams.

There are around 31,000 Filipinos in Bahrain, 1,400 in Yemen and around 26,000 are in Libya as of June 2010.

The embassies have also advised Filipinos to be on alert when in public places or on major roads and to stay away from large crowds and demonstrations.

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