MANILA – Malacanang on Sunday urged Filipinos living in troubled areas of Iraq to return home after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised the alert level in most parts of Iraq to “Three” due to deteriorating security situation there.
”The Filipinos living in troubled areas are requested to return to the Philippines and their trip expenses will be shouldered by the government,” Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma said in a statement he read over dzRB.
The Alert Level 3 means voluntary repatriation for all Filipinos living in Iraq except in Iraqi Kurdistan region which “remains relatively calm and stable.”
The DFA has announced it will send rapid response team to help in the voluntary repatriation as insurgency escalated in Iraq.
Coloma said the DFA is also monitoring the situation in Libya where alert level has also been raised to Three as fighting between rival militias worsened amid a serious political crisis.
The Palace official said the DFA and other concerned agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration have been coordinating in the implementation of travel exemption for contract Filipinos workers in Libya.
The contract Filipino workers include those working in the foreign embassies; the United Nations and other international organizations in Libya; in the offshore oil rig platforms and other multi-national companies; government hospitals and Filipinos married to Libya nationals.
”They are not allowed to travel or to take vacation in the mainland Libya,” Coloma said.