5 Pinoys heed repatriation call in Egypt-A A +A
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
FIVE Filipinos from Egypt arrived Wednesday afternoon after heeding the Philippine government's call for mandatory repatriation in the strife-torn country.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), five Filipino nationals arrived in Manila at 4:20 p.m. via flight QR646.
"Three of them came from Cairo and two from Alexandria," said DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez.
Their arrival comes just two days after the DFA raised the crisis alert level in Egypt to 4, which calls for mandatory evacuation, due to the continued escalation of tension and violence in the host country.
Hernandez said they continue to appeal to Filipinos in Egypt to heed the repatriation call of the Philippine government as soon as possible.
"We call on our kababayans in Egypt to get in touch with our Embassy in Cairo immediately and to avail of our mandatory repatriation program for their own safety," said Hernandez.
The Philippine Embassy in Cairo may be reached through trunk lines: (+202) 25213062/64/65/51; direct lines: (+202) 2516 6217 / 25213045; mobile hotlines: (+2) 012 2743 6472 / 012 8247 6554; fax no.: (+202) 2521-3048; Facebook: Cairo Philippine Embassy; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
President Benigno Aquino III said Wednesday that the government is ready to repatriate the Filipinos in strife-torn Egypt as US $240,00 was initially allocated for this.
In an interview during a visit in an evacuation center in Mandaluyong City, the Chief Executive said there are between 5,000 to 6,000 Filipinos who stay in Egypt, mostly students and domestic helpers.
"Initially, there are only five who are coming home today and many were resisting because they did not want to lose their job. But the situation is really serious," he said.
"We will not call for level 4, which is forced repatriation, but I'm sure the embassy in Egypt has been preparing for this, and has been actively trying to encourage our countrymen to ensure their safety to leave Egypt at this time," he added.
The President also assured that the government will assist returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Egypt by giving locally available jobs and livelihood assistance similar to what the administration did to OFWs affected by the Arab Spring.
He said that the AG&P, a manufacturing facility based in Batangas, hired 4,000 Filipinos displaced by the Arab Spring.
The labor department and other government agencies like the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) will be preparing to assist OFWs who will return home, the President said.
The government automatically releases such support, he said, adding that since the number of affected Filipinos in Egypt is significant, concerned government agencies will act on it.
The government raised crisis alert level to 4 in Egypt due to escalating political tension and a month-long declaration of state of emergency there.
On Monday, the number of people that died in Egypt has already grown to 830 owing to the numerous clashes between the army government’s security forces and the supporters of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. (HDT/SDR/Sunnex)