PH implements forced repatriation in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 8, 2020   •   352

The Philippines has implemented forced or mandatory repatriation in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon amid the rising tension between the United States and Iran.

There are currently 36,799 Filipinos in the three said countries.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said several government officials facilitating the repatriation process will leave the Philippines by next week.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Bernard Olalia will fly to Lebanon, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac will travel to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, while DOLE Usec. Claro A. Arellano will fly to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Bello said the government officials will travel with the Rapid Response Team (RRT).

“They will bring with them the RRT or the Rapid response team so that they could immediately brief our OFWs there of the situation and the action that our department together with the other department will take in order to ensure a well coordinated and safe repatriation of our OFWs,” he said.

The Labor Secretary also said they created a crisis management committee to provide further assistance to Filipinos in the Middle East.

“We have a crisis management center and you can call this center through the hotline of DOLE,” Bello said.

The public can contact DOLE at 1349 and OWWA at 1348.

Meanwhile, there are a over 2.1 million Filipinos expected to repatriated from the Middle East in case a full-scale war erupts.

The government calls on Filipinos to voluntarily return to the Philippines if they know that the situation in their area may possibly worsen.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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PH Navy ships arrive in Oman for repatriation amid Middle East tensions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 7, 2020

The Philippine Navy ships, BRP Davao del Sur (LD602) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16), have arrived in Oman to help in the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the tensions in the Middle East.

The ships arrived at Sultan Qaboos Port late on Wednesday afternoon (February 5).

In a statement, Philippine envoy to Oman, Ambassador Narciso Castañeda said the navy contingent are “all safe and sound” upon arriving in Oman.

“The troops are very happy and in high spirits since this event serves as another milestone for our Navy that we can already transcend across the deep waters of Indian Ocean or the Arabian Sea,” he said.

He also assured that the embarked sailors and marines “are ready to assist and support the government effort in repatriating our unsung heroes, the OFWs in this Middle East conflict.”—AAC

DFA to repatriate Filipinos from Hubei starting next week

Robie de Guzman   •   January 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday said it is ready to repatriate Filipinos in Wuhan City and the rest of Hubei Province amid health concerns brought about by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China.

In an advisory, the DFA said it is planning to bring home next week the first batch of Filipinos from Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the outbreak, and the rest of Hubei province.

The department said the repatriation of Filipinos is subject to China’s rules on disease containment, including immigration clearances, quarantine process, among others.

“Filipinos in Wuhan City and the rest of Hubei province who wish to be repatriated should contact the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai by 3 February 2020, Monday,” the DFA said.

“Upon arrival in the Philippines, Filipino repatriates will be subjected to 14 days of mandatory quarantine per guidelines of the Department of Health,” it added.

The Chinese government recently placed Wuhan and nearby areas on lockdown amid an increasing number of people being infected by the virus.

Public transport and major airport in eight cities around Wuhan City were also shut down.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a public health emergency of international concern over the virus, which has claimed the lives of 213 people and infected 9,692 individuals in China as reported by the Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) on January 31.

There were also 4,812 new suspected cases reported on Jan. 30, pushing the total number of suspected infections to 15,238, according to the commission.

While a total of 1,527 patients remain in serious condition, 171 people have been released from hospitals after getting cured, the NHC said.

DFA begins repatriation of Filipinos in Wuhan City, Hubei province

Marje Pelayo   •   January 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is readying the repatriation of Filipinos in Wuhan City, the epicenter of novel coronavirus (2019 n-CoV), and those in other cities in Hubei province affected by the outbreak in China.

The agency is making available special flights from Hubei Province to the Philippines for Filipinos who wish to come home, subject to China’s rules on disease containment, including immigration clearance and quarantine process, among others.

As discussed in the meeting with health experts and other concerned government officials, the DFA reiterates that Filipino repatriates will undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine upon arrival as required by the Department of Health (DOH).

Those who wish to stay in China are likewise advised to heed advisories from local health authorities, and cooperate with efforts to quell the further spread of the virus.

Likewise, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella stressed the call of Chinese government that Filipinos in the affected areas needing medical assistance and treatment should go to the nearest medical facility and seek proper medical care, including treatment and quarantine.

Filipinos who wish to avail of the repatriation are advised to contact the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai:

Tel. No.: (+86-21) 6281-8020

Fax No.: (+86-21) 6281-8023

Hotline No.: (+86) 1391 747-7112

Email: shanghai.pcg@dfa.gov.ph / shanghaipcg@hotmail.com

Website: www.shanghaipcg.dfa.gov.ph

Those who wish to remain in Hubei, apart from the abovementioned contact details, may likewise use any of the two 24-hour Hotlines established by China Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA):

+86-27-8712-2256

+86-27-8781-1173

The said MFA Hotlines can also be contacted should Filipinos need assistance, supplies, and other needs.

Based on the National Health Commission’s latest count, as cited by state-run China Global Television Network (CGTN), the number of individuals affected by the 2019-novel coronavirus is broken down as follows:

– 5,997 confirmed cases, including eight in HK; seven in Macao and eight in Taiwan

– 132 deaths

– 9,239 suspected cases

– 103 discharged from hospital

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