MANILA - The Philippines on Tuesday advised around 17,000 citizens in Syria, most of whom are working as domestic helpers, to leave the Middle Eastern country due to rising violence, saying it would cover the costs of their evacuation.
Raul Hernandez, head of public information office at the Department of Foreign Affairs, said the Philippine embassy in Damascus had been ordered to "intensify efforts to reach out to Filipinos and convince them that now is the time to consider leaving Syria".
In February, the Philippines evacuated workers in Libya, but less than half of an estimated 26,000 people there have returned. Dozens of Filipinos in tsunami-hit areas in Japan were also repatriated in March.
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