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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Philippines ambassador urges Qatar expats to make emergency ‘grab bag’

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Due to the “simmering political developments in the region,” Filipinos living in Qatar have been advised to prepare a bag containing personal essentials that would allow them to leave here on a moment’s notice.

“Although there is no imminent danger for now in Qatar and the rest of the region, it is better to be prepared in the event that such a scenario suddenly occurs,” said Wilfredo C. Santos, the Philippine Ambassador to Qatar, according to the southeast Asian country’s ministry of foreign affairs.

Santos made the remarks last week during the General Assembly of the United Filipino Organizations in Qatar, an umbrella organization of various Filipino community groups based here.

Wilfredo Santos is the Philippine Ambassador to Qatar.
Wilfredo Santos is the Philippine Ambassador to Qatar.

The Philippines embassy previously warned its nationals in 2013 to “be extra vigilant” in response to threats in the region.

Security experts say there is a comparatively low risk of groups such as ISIS or al-Qaeda launching an attack in Qatar.

However, many embassies warn their citizens that there is an underlying threat of violence in Qatar:

“Terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region,” the UK embassy says on its website.

In terms of what to pack, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers has come up with a recommended list of items that should be available on immediate notice.

The list includes one’s passport, medical records, essential prescription medication, a change of clothes, water and a small amount of cash in euros or US dollars.

Some expats in Qatar have also shared several practical steps residents can take to prepare themselves in the event of different types of emergencies, including the death of a family member here.

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