The Philippine government on Friday raised crisis alert level 2 for Venezuela where street protests led to 20 deaths in one month.
Demonstrators have staged rallies for several weeks to demand the resignation of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, leading to violence as they clash with government forces.
“Alert level 2 is issued when there are real threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbance or external threat,” a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) statement said.
Filipinos in the area are advised to limit non-essential movements, to avoid public places, and to prepare for possible evacuation, it added.
Under alert level 2, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) only allows overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with existing contracts to return to their host country.
The Philippine Embassy in Mexico, which has jurisdiction over Venezuela, has already dispatched a consular officer to Caracas to provide on the ground assessment, the DFA said.
It is also coordinating with the Philippine honorary consul general in Venezuela to assist the estimated 104 Filipino nationals there. PNA