OFWs in Egypt advised to prepare for repatriation

Paterno Esmaquel II
The DFA advises Filipinos to postpone 'all non-essential trips' to Egypt as it raises Crisis Alert Level 2 over the conflict-stricken country

RUN FOR COVER. Egypt security forces fire tear gas to disperse Islamist supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo. Photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday, July 9, moved closer to advising some 6,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Egypt to prepare for repatriation.

Spokesman Raul Hernandez said the DFA had raised Crisis Alert Level 2 over Egypt, which means the Philippines will suspend the deployment of new workers to the conflict-stricken country.

If the situation in Egypt worsens, the Philippines will urge or order its citizens there to leave. Hernandez said Crisis Alert Level 3 would entail voluntary repatriation, while Alert Level 4 would entail mandatory repatriation.

Violence has risen in Egypt after a military coup last Thursday, July 4, ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

“Under alert level 2, the deployment of newly hired overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) will be put on hold. Returning OFWs with existing contracts may still proceed but we strongly advise them to take precautionary measures,” Hernandez said in a press conference.

The DFA raised this alert level due to the “deteriorating peace and order situation in that country,” Hernandez said. 

On Monday, July 8, troops and police allegedly massacred 51 Morsi loyalists while protesting the coup last week. 

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned this latest wave of bloodshed. He called for an independent investigation into this.

The DFA also advised all Filipinos in Egypt “to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, and to prepare for possible evacuation.”

Hernandez said the public “should likewise postpone all non-essential trips to Egypt.”

He said the Philippine embassy is ready to respond, 24/7, to requests for assistance from the 5,953 Filipinos in Egypt. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.