MidEast rivalries to 'definitely' affect OFWs –DFA chief
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is monitoring the situation in the Middle East following the move of Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries to sever ties with Qatar over alleged terrorism.
Interviewed on Monday, DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano noted that rivalries among nations in the Middle East "will definitely" affect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
"Immediately, wala pa naman, kasi di naman masyado nagko-cross border yung ating mga OFWs doon," he said. "But we will monitor that situation."
In an unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar following a dispute over Qatar's support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the world's oldest Islamist movement, and accusations that Doha even backs the agenda of regional arch-rival Iran.
In a statement on state news agency SPA, oil giant Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of backing militant groups and spreading their violent ideology, in an apparent reference to Qatar's influential state-owned satellite channel al Jazeera.
"(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly," SPA said.
The Middle East is home to thousands of Filipino workers, with 24.7 percent of the estimated 2.4 million OFWs working in Saudi Arabia and 5.5 percent in Qatar, according to the Philippine Statistics Office. —KBK, GMA News