Migrante International today called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to give an update on the government’s repatriation efforts in Yemen after the agency raised the crisis alert there to level four (4) due to the escalating politico-security situation in the cities of Sana’a and Aden.
Crisis alert level 4 means that the government has imposed a mandatory evacuation and repatriation of all Filipino nationals in Yemen. The Commission on Overseas Filipinos estimates at least 2,330 Filipinos in Yemen. Of these, 30 are permanent residents, 2,000 temporary workers and around 300 irregular or undocumented workers.
As of June 5, however, the DFA had repatriated only 27 Filipinos. According to Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez, the DFA is yet to give an update on 53 more OFWs who were expected to arrive in the country last June 7 and 9.
“Compared to Libya before, Yemen has a much smaller Filipino population yet based on their output the government still seems to be having a hard time in their evacuation and repatriation efforts. Mas maliit na ang bilang na ito, kung tutuusin mas madali na dapat na ma-locate at ma-evacuate and mga kababayan natin,” he said.
Martinez also said that the DFA should make clear its plans for irregular or undocumented workers. “The DFA should also look into reports that undocumented workers in Yemen are not in possession of their passports.”
The migrant leader said that they have been receiving reports of OFWs who wish to be repatriated but are worried because they have surrendered their passports to their employers upon arrival.
Martinez announced that their Sagip Migrante Hotlines are still open and operational. Migrante set up its Sagip Migrante hotlines when the conflict in Libya erupted last February.
The Sagip Migrante Hotlines may be reached through mobile number 0932-3995952 and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All complaints, calls for assistance and information will be immediately forwarded to concerned government agencies. ###