MANILA, Jan. 8, 2015— A Catholic bishop called on the government to come up with contingency plans in case the need to repatriate Filipinos in the Middle East arises.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, made the appeal yesterday as tensions continue to mount between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
At this moment, he said, the Aquino administration must set up plans to help and assist affected OFWs if ever tensions between the two nations escalate.
“We must be ready to welcome back of our OFW here, to provide jobs here and assistance to their would be affected families,” said Santos, chairman of the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.
Tensions hit a peak following Riyadh’s execution of of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, the subsequent burning of the Saudi embassy in Tehran, and Saudi Arabia’s expulsion of Iran diplomats.
The prelate said the Church is praying for peace in the Middle East, and the safety of the Filipinos working in those countries.
“We are worried and preoccupied with [the] tense and threatening situation between KSA and Iran,” Bishop Santos said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said it is monitoring the situation and is prepared to use all resources to ensure the safety of the Filipinos in the Middle East nations. (CBCP News)