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Pinoy nurses want out of ME

FILIPINO nurses working in hospitals near the Saudi-Yemen border has sought the Philippine government’s assistance to help them return home to escape the escalating war near the Saudi-Yemen border, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The DFA also said that the Kingdom will not blacklist Filipino nurses who want to leave their work in hospitals even if they did not complete their existing contracts.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said that non-completion of their contracts will not cause the nurses to be blacklisted from working back to Saudi or in other Middle Eastern countries.

Saudi Arabia is currently embroiled in months-long clashes with neighboring Yemen.

However, the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah reported that some Filipino nurses have opted to stay despite the conflict while others decided to stop working without finishing their contracts.

The DFA said Saudi employers of Filipino nurses who chose to stay behind assured of their safety and have contingency plans should war erupts near the Saudi-Yemen border.

The Philippine Embassy officials were assured by Saudi employers that if the Filipino nurses decide to leave “they will not be forced or prevented from leaving.”

Jose said the Saudi government will be the one to provide them clearance or address the issue of benefits. They will also be given their monetary entitlements and privileges whether or not they complete their existing contracts, he added.

Those nurses, on the other hand, whose contracts are ending within the next couple of months will be allowed to go through the regular process of securing an exit visa.

For those with contracts that are in the process of being renewed, Jose said these may be retracted if the concerned individual decides not to continue working in the Kingdom. Last week, five Saudi soldiers were killed near the border with Yemen.

A Saudi-led military coalition began an offensive to drive Houthi militia forces out of Yemen’s energy-rich province of Marib.

The Saudi coalition began air strikes against the Houthis and their allies, forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, in late March after they pushed from their northern stronghold towards the southern port of Aden.

Two Filipinos, a female nurse and a male construction worker, were injured in a mortar attack in Samtah near Saudi-Yemen border last week.

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