MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine government has kept its alert level 4 status for Syria, which entails a "mandatory repatriation" of Filipino nationals.
But the Palace says it cannot force Filipinos who choose to remain in Syria, including Filipinos who have married Syrian nationals.
"We will continue to repatriate them if they're so willing and we will find them if they would want to. But kung may mga pamilya na po sila, medyo mas mahihirapan po tayo mag-repatriate," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
Lacierda said the government cannot force overseas Filipino workers who do not want to leave Syria but asked them to reconsider. Some OFWs are wary about leaving their sources of livelihood when they return to the Philippines.
"Nasa sa kanila na po kung ano ang mas priority nila: ang buhay po nila o ang kanilang potential income in the future. May kasabihan tayo… Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo?" Lacierda said.