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PH raises alert level 3 in Lebanon

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Sunday, Oct. 22, that crisis alert level 3, voluntary repatriation, has been raised in Lebanon amid the Israel-Hamas violence in the region.

Lebanon.jpgIn this picture taken during a media tour organised by the Israeli military, an Israeli soldier speaks next to a damaged car near the border with Lebanon on October 21, 2023. (Photo by YURI CORTEZ / AFP)

During a Super Radyo dzBB interview, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Eduardo de Vega said that crisis alert level 3 was raised in Lebanon for the early preparation of the government’s repatriation program.

“Habang maaga, habang puwede pa, madali pa — madali pa ngayon — may ticket. Madali. Bukas ang Beirut Airport, eh mataas ang tensyon, iakyat na natin sa Alert Level 3 (While it’s early, while it’s still possible, while it’s still easy because there are tickets and the Beirut Airport is open, the tension is high, so let’s raise it to Alert Level 3),” he said.

He explained that mandatory repatriation does not mean the government is forcing Filipinos in Lebanon to go home, but that they should decide earlier in case the situation there worsens.

Right now, Palestinian militant group Hamas’ ally Hezbollah, which is based in southern Lebanon, has been trading fire almost daily with Israel.

There are over 17,500 Filipinos living in Lebanon, with 67 residing at the border where Hezbollah is stationed, the DFA earlier said.

The raising of the alert level 3 in Lebanon is a “precaution” for Filipinos there, De Vega said, adding that tickets would still be easier to purchase and the Beirut airport is still open.

He advised Filipinos to reach the DFA through these hotlines:

* Migrant Workers Office: +961 79 110 729

* ATN Hotline: +961 70 858 086

In Gaza, the Philippine government has raised crisis alert level 4, or mandatory repatriation.

It is currently waiting for the border with Egypt to open to proceed with bringing the Filipinos home.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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