While the tensions may have eased for a while in the Middle East, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is not leaving anything to chances as they conducted contingency planning activities last 11 January 2020 to raise the readiness of its personnel and the Filipino community in responding to crises.
A week ago, the Philippine government has already called for the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos in Iraq amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.
PH Embassy in KSA Conducts Contingency Planning Activities
For their part, the officers and staff of the Embassy in Riyadh and its attached agencies such as the Philippines Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Social Security System (SSS), Pag-IBIG Fund, Police Attaché’s Office, and Foreign Liaison’s Office led by Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Adnan V. Alonto, underwent a day-long workshop to review and refine the plan for responding to crisis situations that may affect the Filipino community in the region.
During the one-day training event, the Embassy succeeded in identifying critical gaps and areas for improvement in its contingency plan.
Also, security officers and high-ranking officials briefed members of the Filipino community on the latest security situation in Saudi Arabia and the general procedures and protocols that will be followed in case a crisis erupts in the region.
A statement issued by the DFA last week shared: “In view of recent developments in the region, Filipino communities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are advised to be vigilant against potential security threats, observe security measures and protocols established by the Saudi government, and abide by the laws, rules, and regulations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Following this announcement, the Philippine Embassy issued a separate advisory assuring Filipinos that it was prepared to repatriate any Filipino who might be affected or displaced by the recent situation in the Middle East.
And to ensure safety and heightened awareness regarding the security measures being conducted by the Embassy for the community in Riyadh, they provided the following contact numbers for security-related incidents, information on developing security situations on the ground, and requests for assistance:
Assistance-to-Nationals Section (ANS), Philippine Embassy in Riyadh
- Landline number: 011-480-1918
- Hotline number: 056 989 3301
- E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the contingency planning, Ambassador Alonto addressed and assured the Filipino community that the situation in Saudi Arabia remains stable and secure, that the Philippine government is prepared to assist Filipinos caught in crisis situations abroad, and that the Philippine missions in the region are continuously preparing for every contingency.