KUWAT CITY – Twenty-five Filipino medical staff at the Ministry of Defense Hospital in Sana'a, Yemen left for the Philippines on Monday afternoon.
They are set to arrive in Manila on Tuesday afternoon via Qatar Airways flight number QR 433. Four others opted to go to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for a new job opportunity there.
The group of medical workers availed of the voluntary repatriation after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised crisis alert level 3 in the country due to the continuing violence in its capital Sana’a.
“The situation in Yemen remains to be volatile as we call on Filipinos there to remain vigilant. We are continuously monitoring the situation there and the Philippine Crisis Management team is in place to help OFWs there,” said Labor Attache David Des Dicang.
Dicang was earlier sent by Labor Secretary Baldoz to be a part of the team assisting OFWs in Yemen.
On December 5 last year, suicide bombers attacked the Ministry of Defense Complex killing 52 people, including seven Filipinos. The attack also injured 167 people, including 11 Filipinos.
According to Dicang, the 25 medical staff who will be arriving on Tuesday are:
Dulce Corazon Jimenez
Maria Lourdes Barrozo
Mary Grace del Rosario
Selly Ruth Edanol
Christine Love Deduyo
Diovel Bryan Ganac
Lovely Aiza Abegonia
Mary Joyce Ramirez
Ma. Kristine Lorete
Maria Krisitine Malimban.
Their airfare was shouldered by the Defense Ministry Hospital which also provided each employee a compensation package equivalent to a three-month salary and a bonus equivalent to a two-week salary.
“Secretary Baldoz has instructed OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) to accord all the assistance to the OFWs arriving from Yemen,” said Dicang.
Earlier, some of the OFWs in Yemen were dismayed after the Philippine government raised the crisis alert to 3, pointing out that the unfortunate incident that happened on December 5 was an “isolated case.”
Some were unhappy especially those who were supposed to go home for the Christmas holiday for they had to call off their travel plans for fear of not being able to come back to Yemen after DOLE imposed the total deployment ban for Yemen.
They added that the ban hindered some Filipinos from seeking employment opportunities in Yemen, and that the Philippine government offered no other viable options if faced with no employment. They called on the government to lower the alert level.
Dicang, who is now back in Manila, stated that the Philippine Crisis Management team composed of Vice Consul Winston Dean Almeda, Attache' Rene Salazar of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and Philippine Honorary Consul to Yemen Mohammed Saleh Al Jawal, will remain in Yemen to monitor the situation and assist the OFWs in the voluntary repatriation process and conduct review of the current alert level.
The DOLE calls on OFWs in Yemen to contact the team or their respective area coordinators should they want to avail the voluntary repatriation or for any assistance:
Hadda Sabaeen: Area Coordinator Esther Gahlan +967 713975593,
Deputy Coordinator Marilou Espanola 712582978
Hadda Medina: Area Coordinator Raymundo Legara +967 711025799,
Deputy Coordinator Gloria Oliva 733678521
Medina Saawan: June Sarmiento 712502878
Faj-Attan: Jenny Labog 713514574, Topher Mangalindan 712669014
Mujahed: Jerry De Leon 736307357
Safia: Tet Beltran 734064147 Ronald Pacifico 737700273
Baghdad/Subeiry: Robert Mana-ay 716300716, Boyet Gammad 733445599
60th Street: Irenea Verzosa 711399107
Beitboss: Roy Sabado 711268049
Saada: Jheng Nunes 07512788
Hajja: Celso Magno 713036597
Aden: Laurito Lito Tubig 733 152 554, Virginia Ferando Mance 712-357-433 or 737-166-693
Taiz: Edwin Sarsagad 711201842
Hodeida: Rene Perez 712669113
They may also contact Vice Consul Winston Almeda at +967 735 275 791 or Honorary Consul Al-Jamal at +967 777 2 555 11 for any assistance.