PH govt monitoring Mideast situation amid tensions between Qatar, 4 neighbors

June 5, 2017 - 4:47 PM
The Filipino community in Qatar gathers at a stadium for an audience with President Duterte in this April 2017 file photo by JV Arcena, News5.

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs is closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East following tensions between Qatar and four of its neighbors which severed ties with it over terrorism issues.

Millions of Filipinos live and work in Qatar and the four Arab neighbors which broke with it on Monday: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the breaking of ties has serious implications and the DFA was closely tracking the situation.

As of now, he said, there is no immediate effect on the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), but Cayetano conceded that further developments could have an impact on them, especially when the tensions result in more restrictions on foreign workers.

“We take it seriously. We live in an interconnected world, so [the] rivalries [and] friendship [of other countries have an impact on us],” Cayetano said.

“Pag ang China ay nag-invest sa Middle East, magkakaroon ng trabaho ang mga OFW. Any rivalries will affect the OFWs. Immediately wala pa naman. Di naman cross border ang mga OFW.
We will monitor,” the DFA chief added.