Philippine Embassy team in Yemen working on repatriation process

A May 26, 2011 press release by the Department of Foreign Affairs

The Philippine Embassy team in Sanaa said today that they are working on the repatriation of 69 Filipinos in Yemen who expressed their desire to be repatriated under the government’s voluntary repatriation program with the raising of the crisis alert level to alert level 3.

“Save for three, most of these Filipinos are overstayers and there are penalties that must be settled before the Yemeni Passports Authority would agree to issue them an exit visa,” Embassy Charge d’Affaires (CDA) Ezzedin Tago said.

CDA Tago added that the Embassy team has made representations with the Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs requesting for full waiver of the penalties.  As Thursday and Friday are holidays in Yemen, the exit visas could be processed by Saturday.

CDA Tago and a five-man team from the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh are in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa to implement the contingency plan.  A separate three-man team from the Philippine Consulate General In Jeddah is stationed at the port city of Aden for the same purpose. The Embassy in Riyadh covers Yemen.

There are 1,422 Filipinos in Yemen registered with the Embassy.

“Many has expressed desire to remain as they are still gainfully employed and are safe in their places of work and residence.  Their employers have also assured them that they have an evacuation plan should there be a need to move them out,” CDA Tago explained.

The Department of Foreign Affairs announced Tuesday its readiness to repatriate Filipinos who wish to leave the country at government’s expense in the light of the continuing political tension and escalating violence in the capital city of Sanaa.

Under crisis alert level 3, voluntary repatriation at government’s expense will be offered to Filipinos who wish to leave Yemen in light of the escalating tensions.  In coordination with Department of Labor and Employment, a deployment ban is put in place effective immediately.   Likewise, all Filipinos are advised not to travel to Yemen at this time.

The Embassy teams instructed the Filipino community in Yemen to actively monitor ongoing developments, keep their communication lines open with the Embassy teams in Sanaa and Aden and with their designated community coordinators.  They have been advised to keep an emergency bag ready with clothing, water, canned goods and medicine, for themselves and for their family members, and with important documents such as passports and money ready and at hand.

Additional officers and staff from the Embassy and the Consulate General are on standby in case more personnel are needed to assist in the implementation of the contingency plan in Yemen.

In close coordination with Philippine Honorary Consul in Yemen Mohammad Al-Jamal, the Embassy teams have been closely monitoring developments in the country, and have briefed the members of the Filipino community there on the Embassy’s contingency plan.