MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday announced it lowered the alert level in Yemen. The move is expected to pave the way for the return of overseas Filipino workers in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.
In a statement, the DFA said the lower alert level means redeployment of returning OFWs to Yemen will be allowed.
However, newly-hired OFWs would still not be allowed to be deployed to Yemen.
The DFA said President Aquino approved its recommendation for Alert Level 2 (restriction phase) to be placed in Yemen to reflect the current situation there. This is a downgrade from Alert Level 4 (mandatory repatriation) in Sana’a and Alert Level 3 (voluntary repatriation) in the rest of Yemen
"We anticipate that with the lowering of the alert level, the redeployment of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Yemen will now be allowed. We also anticipate that Yemen-based OFWs, who wish to return to the Philippines for a vacation, will be allowed to return to Yemen,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario said.
The DFA has informed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board of this development.
The POEA Governing Board is expected to soon issue a new resolution that will allow the deployment of returning OFWs to Yemen.
The DFA raised Alert Level 3 on the whole of Yemen on May 24 and Alert Level 4 in Sana’a on June 6, as anti-government rallies spread in the country. Filipinos in Yemen were given the chance to be repatriated.
There has been continuing protests against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, as part of the Arab Spring that toppled leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. -- With Reuters