THE House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs chaired by Rep. Ron Salo (Party-list, KABAYAN) on Wednesday held a briefing with concerned agencies on the current situation of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Israel, as well as their ongoing evacuation and repatriation efforts.
Rep. Salo conveyed his deepest sorrows and sincerest condolences to Filipinos who lost their loved ones in the Israel-Hamas conflict. He said the panel would assess the government’s preparedness and capacity to protect them.
Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. thanked the agencies for their collective efforts, saying that he hopes the government could ensure the Filipinos in Israel are safe.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega reported that the attacks have ceased in the area where majority of the Filipinos are. He noted that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) gave its assurance that it is already prepared to send help. Usec. de Vega said that efforts would be undertaken through a whole-of-government approach.
Philippine Ambassador to Jordan Wilfredo Santos bared that exit points in Gaza are currently closed, making it unfeasible to undertake evacuation. However, he said that they are in close coordination with international organizations, as well as the Philippine Embassies in Tel Aviv and Cairo for assistance in evacuating the Filipinos in Gaza.
Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) OIC Secretary Hans Cacdac said that the OFWs can easily reach the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration through the Hotline 1348, a 24/7 hotline service available worldwide. The OWWA can also be contacted via their Viber and WhatsApp number: +639083268344. Secretary Cacdac bared that the President has also given a directive to help in the reintegration of Filipinos who will be repatriated through employment, livelihood, or financial assistance.