Pinoys traveling to Qatar urged to 'observe usual precautions'
Filipinos going to Qatar, whether for employment or business, are urged to observe "usual precautions" amid the diplomatic crisis hounding the Middle Eastern country.
"In this regard, the PH Government clarifies that persons working in or who have urgent business in Qatar are free to return but should observe usual precautions," the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement Wednesday.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain announced the severance of diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that it is supporting extremist groups, including ISIS.
This was followed by similar statement of diplomatic withdrawal by Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Maldives.
As a precautionary measure, the government suspended the deployment of newly hired OFWs who have yet to secure their Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to Qatar.
"The PH Government continues to process documents for employment in Qatar. However new hires still in the Philippines will be covered by a temporary moratorium on deployment while the situation is being assessed," the DFA said.
Philippine labor officials in Qatar have reported that the situation there is normal except for reports of panic buying among several Filipinos there.
Despite this, the DFA urged Filipinos in Qatar to "exercise prudence given the events of the past days."
It added the government is ready to provide all necessary assistance if the situation worsens.
The DFA said together with the Department of Labor and Employment, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Philippine embassies and labor offices in the Gulf Region, it is closely monitoring the situation in the Gulf Region. —KBK, GMA News