President Rodrigo Duterte has directed several members of the Cabinet to implement plans to repatriate Filipinos in the Middle East in the midst of the escalating conflict between Iran and the United States, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Advertisement Duterte gave the order at Monday’s 45th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang, where he reiterated his concern for the security of the Middle Eastern Filipinos.
The Committee is made up of Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of the Interior Eduardo Año, Secretary of Labor Silvestre Bello III, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Secretary of Transportation Arthur Tugade.
The President also commissioned Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to immediately travel to the Middle East to coordinate with the host countries and lay the groundwork for evacuation.
Duterte previously ordered the Philippine Armed Forces to schedule their air and naval assets for evacuation in the event of a US-Iran military war.
Meanwhile, Filipino workers ‘ presidential advisor Abdullah Mamao was charged with going to Iran and Iraq to convey Duterte’s assurances to the Iranian and Iraqi governments that no Filipinos will be affected during the war.
Duterte also directed the appropriate government resources to plan for contingencies to absorb displaced workers from overseas Philippines (OF).
Before the Cabinet meeting on Monday, the President floated the idea of calling for a special Congress session to create a standby fund needed to secure thousands of Filipinos in the Gulf region.
In a speech after the signing of the national budget for 2020, Duterte suggested that lawmakers deliberate on the issue and set up a standby fund and body to disburse money in the event of an emergency, especially by moving thousands of Filipinos away from danger zones