Afghans in PH are temporary visitors; will be resettled to other countries — DOJ

Published September 22, 2021, 1:23 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra (2)

Afghan refugees who are now in the Philippines will be taken to another country for permanent settlement, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

“Right now, we have admitted only a handful, but they are here only for temporary shelter until they are permanently resettled elsewhere,” Guevarra said.

“There has been no application with the DOJ for the grant of refugee status to Afghan nationals fleeing from their country,” he added.

President Duterte on Wednesday, Sept. 22, addressed the United Nations General Assembly and renewed the Philippines’ commitment to accept refugees from Afghanistan which has been retaken by the Taliban regime following the pull out of United States forces.

“For the Rohingyas, I have instructed our Department of Justice (DOJ) to work closely with the UN High Commissioner on Refugees to prepare a cooperation program for a specific number of Rohingyas consistent with our capacity,” Duterte also told the UN.

Guevarra said the DOJ has yet to take action for Ronghiya refugees who belong to a Muslim ethnic minority and who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

“The DOJ will coordinate with the office of the UN High Commissioner for refugees to find out how we can help,” he said.