MANILA – The Philippine embassy and Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Qatar have put in place contingency measures, including the repatriation of Filipino workers from the Gulf country, according to a labor department official.
Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say said the embassy and POLO in Qatar “are on standby in case there is a need to repatriate Filipino workers” although the foreign affairs department has not issued an advisory so far to bring back Filipino workers from Qatar.
According to labor department records, there are 200,000 documented and undocuments Filipino laborers in Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Yemen, Bahrain and Egypt have cut ties with Qatar for its alleged support to Iran and terror groups, an accusation Doha has vehemently denied. The five countries also came up with a terror list that included several Qataris and Qatar organizations but Doha rejected the list as “baseless”.
Say said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III is monitoring the situation in Qatar and that members of a rapid response team formed by Bello are ready to fly to Doha to assist Filipino workers there when the need arises.
Say also said they are particularly concerned about household workers who are likely the ones who will be repatriated in case Doha expels foreign nationals.
The Philippine government has not received any report of Filipino workers in Qatar who have been laid off as a result of the diplomatic crisis in the Middle East but the labor department is coordinating with recruitment agencies in providing alternative employment to workers who might be laid off. GAC/Expat Media
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