Govt ready to repatriate 30K OFWs in Israel

MAY 14, 2021

THE government is ready to bring home around 30,000 Filipinos in Israel amid the escalating violence between Palestinian and Israeli forces.

In an online press briefing on Thursday, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said they are closely monitoring the 29,473 Filipinos in Israel following the exchange of rockets that affected Israeli cities and Jerusalem and Gaza.

“We are making preparations for the possible repatriation,” Roque said.

He noted the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) already have extensive experience for such operations.

While there is still no recommendation from DFA to initiate the repatriation, Roque said they urged Filipinos in Israel to be cautious to avoid being involved in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is also looking into the situation of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Israel through the private recruitment agencies (PRA).  “We are on high alert and are closely monitoring developments there,” POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said in a phone interview.

POEA could instruct the PRAs to pull out their OFWs in Israel if the need for it arises.

The latest conflict in Israel started last Monday from street violence, which led to the arrest of 374 people, and has now escalated to missile attacks. Roque said they hope the issue will be peacefully resolved in the coming days.