MANILA — Some 54 Filipinos have signed up for mandatory evacuation in Yemen amid heightened conflict in the strife-torn Middle East state, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday.
“We are intensifying our efforts for our Filipinos there because of the situation there now which is getting worse,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose said.
Manila has placed Yemen under Alert Level 4, meaning it is dangerous for Filipinos to travel or continue working there. Heavy clashes have been reported throughout the country as Houthi rebels continue to push their way into the country’s coastal city of Aden despite airstrikes by Saudi Arabia.
A Philippine crisis management team was deployed to the country to assist those Filipinos who wish to join the government-organized evacuation.
“According to our latest count we have 800 Filipinos in Yemen, 54 have already registered for repatriation and we are already making arrangements to bring them back,” Jose said.
Seventeen have already been repatriated to the Philippines since Alert Level 4 was declared by the Philippine government.
“We are trying to get more Filipinos to register for repatriation,” Jose said.
Although the government is enforcing mandatory repatriation, Jose explained that it is up to the Filipinos to decide if they will come back to the Philippines or remain in Yemen.
“Based on the response that we are getting it seems many of them would prefer to stay in Yemen,” Jose lamented.