PHL Embassy in Riyadh implements precautionary measures for Yemen

Cairo Castle in Taiz,YemenImage via WikipediaA March 10, 2011 press release by the Department of Foreign Affairs

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh said today that it has undertaken proactive measures and updated its contingency plan in light of increasing tensions in Yemen.

Charge d’Affaires (CDA) Ezzedin Tago of the Embassy which covers Yemen, said that as early as February 25 and upon consultations with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila, an Embassy team led by Third Secretary and Vice Consul Paul Saret was dispatched to Yemen to assess the security situation on the ground and make necessary preparations to ensure the safety and well being of Filipinos should the increasing tensions there gets worse.

The team met with the Filipino community there and briefed them of the contingency plan. They also updated the operations side of the contingency plan such as designation of community coordinators, identified convergence, relocation, holding and evacuation sites, and resource inventory of transportation and communications, as well as of other requirements.

The team also updated the directory of Filipinos in the country, as well as provided consular assistance for passports and travel documents.

They also met with Yemeni officials, as well as International Organization from Migration and representatives of ASEAN embassies in the country to coordinate with them and get their views on the current political situation in Yemen.

On March 2, CDA Tago went to Yemen to check on the situation and proceeded to the cities of Taiz and Aden, where protests are ongoing.

Augmentations teams from the Department of Labor and Employment and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Riyadh also went to Yemen to assist in the effort.

Currently, the Embassy is operating a 24/7 coordinating center and monitoring developments. It has also designated substitute composite teams to prepare required documentation such as validation of passports, obtaining exit/reentry visas from host governments and obtain visas to Yemen.

The Embassy teams in place in the capital Sanaa continues its coordination with the Filipino community, reaching out to those in Aden and Taiz. Additional officers and staff from the Embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah are on standby in case more personnel are needed.

The Embassy hotline numbers for Yemen are +966-536-881-787 and (01) 482-3559.