7 more Filipinos evacuate from Afghanistan; 10 opt to stay

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2021 06:36 PM

People gathered outside the airport react to gunfire, in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 18, 2021 in this still image taken from video. Asvaka News via Reuters/file
People gathered outside the airport react to gunfire, in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 18, 2021 in this still image taken from video. Asvaka News via Reuters/file

MANILA - Seven more Filipinos were able to leave Afghanistan while 10 others decided to stay even as Taliban militants have returned to power in the Middle Eastern country.

In a situation bulletin on Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the 7 Filipinos left the Afghan capital Kabul for Almaty, Kazakhstan. Five of them have arrived in Manila via Jakarta, Indonesia, and are currently in quarantine, according to the department.

Meanwhile, the DFA said it is in contact with 27 Filipinos still in Afghanistan, of whom 10 “have signified their intent to remain" in the Middle Eastern state. 

The remaining 17 have requested to be evacuated.

Asked why a number of Filipinos chose to remain in Afghanistan, DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez of the Public and Cultural Diplomacy (OPCD) said: “I believe mostly work-related.”

The DFA said some Filipinos who left Afghanistan are not returning to the Philippines “for various reasons.”

“All repatriates that have managed to exit Afghanistan have been assisted by various Philippine Embassies and Consulates General. The DFA has been working with various governments so that repatriates in transit need not fully quarantine in the transit country, as they will be undergoing quarantine upon arrival in PH,” the foreign office said.

It earlier advised OFWs and other Filipinos still in Afghanistan to “be prepared to leave at moment’s notice, and to be able to travel with minimal luggage” as it said the Philippines is “exhausting all avenues to ensure their safety and eventual evacuation.”

The DFA issued Alert Level 4 in Afghanistan after the Taliban captured key cities, including Kabul. 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:

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