PHILIPPINES DFA ADVISORY : LEBANON
DFA, DOLE COORDINATE ON PROTECTING WELFARE OF OFWS IN LEBANON
14 July 2006 — The Department of Foreign Affairs announced that it is closely coordinating with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on steps to ensure the safety of Filipinos who plan to work in Lebanon and OFWs already in that country in the light of the heightened security situation in Lebanon.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Special Concerns Rafael E. Seguis and Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Esteban B. Conejos, Jr. met with Labor and Employment Secretary Arturo D. Brion and Undersecretary Danilo P. Cruz at the DFA to review the security situation in Lebanon as reported by the Philippine Embassy in Beirut, and to coordinate on government plans to protect Filipinos already in that country and those planning to work there.
“Based on our review of the current situation in Lebanon, the DFA and the DOLE reiterate the travel advisory that was issued yesterday advising Filipinos planning to travel to Lebanon to postpone their trip to that country in view of the current security situation there,” Undersecretary Conejos said. (Please refer to Press Release SFA-AGR-600-06, dated 13 July 2006, for the full advisory.)
“Also, the DOLE has instructed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to continue processing job orders for Lebanon but withhold the issuance of the Overseas Employment Certificate or the final authority to travel,” Undersecretary Conejos continued.
The Philippine Embassy in Beirut has informed the Department that it has activated the Contingency Plan and has raised Alert Level 2, which is an advisory to Filipinos in Lebanon to remain where they are but prepare for immediate relocation to safer, pre-designated areas.
Undersecretary Conejos said, “In light of this Alert Level, I urge all Filipinos already in Lebanon to be vigilant and avoid unnecessary travel as much as possible. I also urge them to keep communication lines open with the Embassy in Beirut or with the Filipino community mobilizer in their area. Also, the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) is ready to assist the relatives of OFWs in Lebanon should they have any queries about the situation in that country.”
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment will continue close coordination as the situation in Lebanon develops and to ensure the safety of Filipinos in that country,” the Undersecretary added. (Please refer to the accompanying photo release on this subject matter.) END