By Roy Mabasa
The Department of Foreign Affairs has raised different crisis alert levels in at least 21 countries due to security situations in those areas.
In its updated summary of all alert levels, crisis alert level 4 has been raised in three countries–Iraq, Syria and South Sudan. Alert level 4 requires mandatory repatriation and a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Iraq has been under alert level 4 since June 19, 2014, Syria since December 22, 2011 and South Sudan since July 19, 2016.
Meanwhile, the DFA has raised alert level 3 in Yemen and Afghanistan due to the continued political and security instability throughout the two countries along with incidences of lawlessness and violence. Alert level 3 requires voluntary repatriation and also a total ban on OFW deployment. Afghanistan has remained under this alert level since July 8, 2014.
Four countries, on the other hand, have been put under alert level 2 by the DFA. These include Palestine, Libya, Ukraine and Venezuela. Alert level 2 is raised when violent disturbances occur in a limited area of a country. It means restriction phase and a ban on deployment of new hires only.
Finally, crisis alert level 1 (Precautionary Phase, No Deployment Ban) has been raised over 12 countries — Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Based on the updated summary, more countries in the Middle East and Africa were put under different alert level status than any other region.