The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippine embassy in Qatar urges Filipinos to remain calm

June 6, 2017

The Philippine embassy in Qatar has called on thousands of Filipinos to stay calm as Gulf states and other countries have severed ties with Doha over allegations that it supports terrorism and destabilization of the region. An advisory issued Tuesday by Philippine Ambassador Alan Timbayan said Filipinos must exercise prudence as the embassy monitors the situation. Qatar has around 250,000 Filipino workers. On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain announced they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar. This was followed by a similar statement of diplomatic withdrawal by Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Maldives. Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the current diplomatic crisis in the Middle East would affect Filipinos, but assured that the government have contingency measures in place. “In view of these developments, Filipino travelers are advised to consult their travel agents to ensure unhampered travel arrangements,” the embassy said. Filipinos in Qatar were advised to contact the embassy if they need assistance or monitor its website and Facebook page. Qataris in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain were told to leave within 14 days, while ports of entry between Saudi and Qatar will be sealed off, news reports said. The Gulf states criticize Qatar’s alleged backing and funding Islamic terrorist and extremist organizations, such as Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda and ISIS – an accusation denied by Doha. With more than two million Filipino workers in the Middle East, tensions in the region has been a concern for the Philippine government. DMS