3rd batch of Filipinos from Cairo will arrive Monday

THE Philippine Embassy in Egypt reported that a third batch of 36 Filipino repatriates will depart Cairo on Sunday noon and will arrive in Manila from Dubai on Monday afternoon.

This is the third batch of Filipinos – 30 women, 3 men and 3 minors – who availed of the voluntary repatriation program being conducted by the Embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in the light of the on-going protest actions in Egypt.

Earlier, a batch of 26 Filipinos arrived last Sunday, composed of Filipino scholars from the Al Azhar University and their families, three nurses from the Dar Al Fouad Hospital and household service workers. The second batch of 32 Filipinos arrived last Wednesday.

Like the previous batches, the Embassy received assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Cairo in securing arrangements for this batch of Filipino repatriates.  The Filipino community organizations also actively assisted in the arrangements.

These 36 Filipinos will be given certifications that they may use when availing of programs and services extended by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA).

They will also receive post-trauma debriefing, counseling and reintegration packages from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The Embassy earlier advised the Filipino community members of its readiness to repatriate anyone who feels that his/her safety is at risk.

The Filipino community has also been advised to stay indoors, steer clear of public places-especially sites of mass protest – and avoid involvement in political actions.

The DFA’s travel advisory to Egypt remains urging Filipinos who have plans to proceed to Egypt to defer non-essential and non-urgent travels, notably for tourism purposes, until the security situation has stabilized.

News reports stated that the Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces met to discuss the ongoing protests. In a statement entitled “Communique Number One” on Thursday, the 17th day of unrest in Egypt, the army stated that “based on the responsibility of the armed forces and its commitment to protect the people and its keenness to protect the nation… and in support of the legitimate demands of the people, [the army] will continue meeting on a continuous basis to examine measures to be taken to protect the nation and its gains and the ambitions of the great Egyptian people.”

Tens of thousands poured into Tahrir Square after the army statement was televised.

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