Up to 32 Filipinos have been evacuated from the chaos in Kabul, Afghanistan, and are now in Doha, Qatar.
According to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OOWA) chief Hans Leo Cacdac, the 32 OFWs are part of the estimated 130 Filipinos in Afghanistan, based on their coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
“DFA ang may presensiya doon, wala tayong Philippine Labor Office sa bahagi ng Afghanistan kasi may isang dekada na ring may ban doon on newly hired Filipino workers. But nevertheless, may 130 na naiulat doon batay sa aming koordinasyon sa DFA na ipinag-utos din ni Sec. [Silvestre] Bello ay ‘yung 32 sa kanila ay nakaalis na ng Kabul at ngayon ay nasa Doha at pauwi na ng Pilipinas,” said Cacdac.
In an interview with TeleRadyo Tuesday morning, Cacdac said that Bello also ordered the care of the returning 32 OFWs by providing adequate assistance just there in Qatar.
“Siyempre pagdating dito sa Pilipinas, bibigyan pa rin natin ng assistance pinansiyal at pangkabuhayan,” said Cacdac.
He said OWWA continues to liaise with the DFA for the repatriation flight of the remaining Filipinos to Afghanistan.
OWWA: 32 Filipinos evacuated from Afghanistan arrive in Qatar
“Itong pangalawa, isinasaayos pa, wala pang schedule,” he said.
Cacdac also advised Filipinos who continue to be caught up in the chaos in the said country to stay in their homes.
“Keep a low profile, manatili sa kanilang mga tahanan o lugar, huwag lumabas kasi ito namang hidwaan hindi naman Pilipino o OFW ang target. Ito ay political at security, military process na pinagdadaanan ng mga mamamayan doon. Di naman target ang Pilipino. Just stay safe, huwang gumawa ng padalos-dalos, mag-ingat lang, ‘wag lumabas ng bahay,” he said.
For relatives in the Philippines who are worried about the condition of their loved ones in Afghanistan, Cacdac advises calling only the 1348 and 1349 hotlines of OWWA.
The Taliban has besieged Afghanistan after its president fled, and US forces have withdrawn after 2 decades to prevent terrorist activities and train Afghan forces.