Crisis in Syria raised to Alert Level 2

Syria Damascus Douma Protests 2011 - 01
An April 26, 2011 press release by the Department of Foreign Affairs
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said today that it has raised the crisis alert level in Syria to alert level 2, in light of the continuing political tension in said country and as a precautionary measure for the Filipino community there.
Syria Damascus Douma Protests 2011 - 31Alert level 2 entails restriction of movements around said country, avoiding large crowds and areas of protest, and encouraging Filipinos to voluntarily relocate or leave the country at their own cost if they have no pressing need to remain. Non-essential and non-urgent travel is discouraged, including travel for tourism purposes, and only returning workers will be allowed to go back.
The Embassy has been closely monitoring developments in the country, and has briefed the members of the Filipino community on the Embassy’s contingency plans.
“We have asked our nationals in Syria to actively monitor developments, keep their communication lines open with the Embassy and their community coordinators and inform them of their whereabouts, as well as restrict their movements only to those which are necessary,” Philippine Ambassador to Syria Wilfredo Cuyugan said.
“We also asked them to also stock up on basic necessities such as food, water, and prescribed medicines,  as well as have  flashlights, mobile phones and radios available and in good condition. They should also have important documents such as passports and money handy,” he added.
There are around 17,000 Filipinos in Syria.
The Embassy has updated contingency plans for community members. These plans can be readily activated during times of crisis.
Earlier, the United States and the United Kingdom on April 25 have issued advisories on travel to Syria in light of the escalating violence there.