In the background the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system (L) intercepts rockets (R) fired by the Hamas movement towards southern Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, and on foreground tens of other intercepts rockets (RR) fired by the Hamas while the Iron Dome is busy with the first rockets, as seen in the sky above the Gaza Strip overnight on May 16, 2021. Israel pummelled the Gaza Strip with air strikes, killing 10 members of an extended family and demolishing a building housing international media outlets, as Palestinian militants fired back barrages of rockets. (AFP)
The Philippine government has temporarily suspended the deployment of migrant workers to Israel due to the armed conflict in the Middle Eastern region.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced on Thursday that no worker would fly to Israel “for a few days” to ensure the safety of Filipinos amid the brutal lsraeli-Palestinian hostilities which has so far killed at least 240 people.
“The actual deployment is temporarily suspended, but there is no ban. We are merely suspending their actual departure while the tension is still high,” Bello said in a statement.
However, he said the application processes of those who qualified for deployment continue.
Bernard Olalia, administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, said the deployment of workers to Israel’s residential zones which are far from the areas of conflict would likely resume this month.
The Palace backed the labor department’s move, saying it would ensure the safety of Filipinos going abroad.
“Malacañang supports Secretary Bello’s decision to temporarily suspend the deployment of overseas workers in Israel because of the ongoing conflict,” presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said in a news conference.
Meanwhile, Bello said the government has been preparing to repatriate Filipino workers who wish to return to the country.
According to the foreign affairs department, voluntary repatriation would be implemented once alert level 3 is raised in the region.
The government has raised alert level 1 over Israel and the West bank, while alert level 2 was hoisted in Gaza.
Government figures showed that at least 29,470 Filipinos are in Israel, while 91 are in Gaza, a self-governing Palestinian territory which heavily suffered from Israeli attacks in the past 10 days.
The Philippines has not yet received any report of Filipino casualties in Israel and Gaza amid the ongoing violence, which began when Hamas fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem in support of Palestinian protests against Israel’s policies.
Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph