Contingency plan in place for Pinoys in Kuwait
KUWAIT - The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait is now preparing for a contingency plan for the 180,000 overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait should the US attack Syria.
Kuwait is known to be a staunch ally of the US and a number of US camps are located here, making the country a possible target.
Some OFWs can't help but worry on the rising tension in the region.
"Syempre, bago pa lang ako sa Kuwait. Syempre matatakot. Di ko pa nararansan ng giyera. Kung pauwiin kami, uuwi kami," said OFW Guillermo Sadie.
But for some who are not new to war like Evelyn Valentino, who was in Kuwait during the 1990 Iraqi invasion and the 2003 US-led invasion in Iraq, there is nothing to worry.
"Normal na normal lang. Naubos na ang takot ko nong gyera. Mas nakakatakot magutom sa Pilipinas," she said.
The embassy met with the Filipino community leaders to discuss the contingency plan. The embassy has assigned area coordinators to conduct census and information dissemination.
The embassy issued a three-point advisory in the event of an attack:
1. Stay put at home, it's safer.
2. Fly out of Kuwait if it's safe and airport is open
3. In a worst case scenario, mass evacuation will be done via Saudi Arabia
The embassy visited the Kuwait-Saudi border for an ocular inspection. This is one of the possible exit points of Filipinos from Kuwait should war escalate.
Traffic in the border appears normal as only a few vehicles are seen in and out of the border. The embassy urges all OFWs to heed the embassy advisory.
"Sa ating mga kababayan, just stay calm and relax. Wala namang mangyayari. Walang dapat pangambahan, lahat ng mga precautions ginagawa natin," said Consul General Atty. Raul Dado.
Meanwhile, in Beirut, Lebanon, the mandatory repatriation of OFWs from Syria continues. Arselita Padonia is one of the 41 OFWs who left for the Philippines.
"Kahit may problema sa Syria, makauwi pa rin kami. Tinulungan kami ng Philippine Embassy, combination ng Philippine embassy dito sa Lebanon. Nagpapasalamat po kami, kasi 'yong mga staff nila dito, mabuti po 'yong treatment nila sa 'min. Pare-pareho po, patas lahat," said Padonia.
The embassy in Damascus called on all OFWs still in Syria to avail the mandatory repatriation while there is still time to cross the Lebanese border.