MANILA - The number of Filipinos evacuated out of Afghanistan since Taliban militants captured major cities and returned to power there has reached 183, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.
More Filipinos from Afghanistan will be returning to the Philippines on the same day and Wednesday, arriving from the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Qatar, the DFA said.
At least 26 are still in the Middle Eastern state. Of the remaining, 16 are requesting evacuation.
“The DFA continues to work closely with various governments and other partners to find flights for the repatriates and ensure that they come home as soon as possible,” it said.
The other 10 Filipinos earlier signified their intention to stay in Afghanistan for "mostly work-related" reasons, according to DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez of the Public and Cultural Diplomacy (OPCD).
He added some Filipinos who left are not returning to the Philippines “for various reasons.”
The DFA issued Alert Level 4 in Afghanistan after the Taliban captured key cities, including capital Kabul, over a week ago. Under the alert level, the Philippines will undertake mandatory evacuation of all Filipinos in the area.
Filipinos remaining in Afghanistan were advised to reach out to the following contact details:
- Whatsapp/Viber: +923335244762
- Messenger/Facebook: facebook.com/atnofficers.islamabadpe or facebook.com/OFWHelpPH
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III had said that Filipinos working in Afghanistan are considered "undocumented" because the Philippine government has no existing labor agreement with the Middle Eastern nation.
— Report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News