DFA: Contingency plans in place in Bahrain amid continued protests there
January 5, 2012 9:34am
Philippine officials in Bahrain have contingency plans to ensure the safety of some 40,000 Filipinos amid continued protests there, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.
In a radio interview, Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said they continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in touch with embassy officials there.
"We have a big number of OFWs (in) Bahrain. I think we are talking about 40,000-plus OFWs in Bahrain. Tinitingnan natin, monitor natin closely ang kalagayan doon. We have contingency plans just in case the security situation worsens," Hernandez said in an interview on dwIZ radio.
But for now, he said the Philippine government can only advise Filipinos there to stay away from crowded places and be cautious.
"Usually, we are monitoring it and we tell our people to make sure they don't join demonstrations and stay away from crowded places and restrict their movements and be cautious and be aware of their safety," he said.
In June, the DFA lowered the crisis alert level for Bahrain to “1" after the state of emergency there was lifted.
Under alert level 1, Filipinos are urged to actively monitor ongoing developments. Non-essential and non-urgent travels are still not allowed.
But on March 15 last year, the DFA raised the crisis alert level to “2" for Bahrain.
Under crisis alert level 2, Filipinos are urged to voluntarily relocate or leave the country if they have no pressing need to remain, and to actively monitor developments and be prepared for emergencies.
The Bahraini government announced on May 31 the lifting of the state of emergency and invited opposition groups to join talks on political reform. — RSJ, GMA News