Department of Foreign Affairs keen on repatriating Filipinos from Lebanon
MANILA – As ranking government authorities in Lebanon resigned with the continued protests after the fatal blasts a week ago, the Department of Foreign Affairs said they have intensified their operations to bring home Filipinos in the troubled country at the soonest time.
“We are not leaving anyone behind,” said Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
She explained the DFA and the Philippine Embassy in Beirut have taken steps to guarantee the safety of overseas Filipinos still in Lebanon.
The first of the DFA chartered-flights from Beirut is expected to land in Manila this coming August 17 at 1:25 P.M. Expected to take the flight are 400 Filipinos.
“Qatar Air will be the first in a number of repatriation flights that the DFA will mount to bring home our kababayans who want to come home. These flights shall be free and at no cost to our overseas Filipinos from Lebanon,” added Undersecretary Arriola.
In Malacanang, at the midday press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Department of Foreign Affairs continues in its mandate to attend to Filipinos in Lebanon who wish to return home.
“They have not stopped,” Secretary Roque added.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Asst. Secretary Eduardo Martin R. Meñez said Lebanon has been under Alert Level 2 since the beginning of the year. Alert Level 2 means the DFA will restrict entry to Lebanon. This is the reason why diplomatic sources said most Filipinos in Lebanon entered the country illegally or through human trafficking syndicates.
There are still over 31,000 Filipinos in Lebanon. (Melo M. Acuña)
Filipinos from Lebanon are expected to return on Monday, August 17. Presidential Spokesman Secretary Harry Roque said repatriation will proceed. (DFA Photo/Melo M. Acuna Photo)