Deployment of OFWs to Israel suspended amid Israeli – Palestinian strife
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is suspending the deployment of workers to Israel amid escalating tension and violence in the region, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday.
“Mula ngayon ‘di muna. At makikipag-konsulta rin ako kay [Foreign Affairs] Sec. [Teodoro] Locsin tungkol sa alert level do’n,” Bello said in an interview on Teleradyo.
(For now, we won’t deploy workers. We will also consult with Sec. Locsin about the alert level there.)
“Kasi nakikita naman natin, putukan dito, putukan doon. Mahirap na pagka mag-deploy tayo mamaya may mangyari, malaki ang pananagutan ko po,” he added.
(There’s a lot of violence going on there. It would be challenging to deploy workers there, I will have to take responsibility should something untoward happens.)
Bello said the deployment of workers to Israel will resume once their safety is assured.
“Hangga’t hindi natin natitiyak ang kanilang kaligtasan. Kailangan matiyak muna,” he said.
Until we can ensure that they will be safe there, we won’t deploy. We need to make sure first.)
“Pag wala nang bombahan at sinabi ng Department of Foreign Affairs natin na OK na, then we will always consider deploying them,” Bello pointed out.
(Once the bombings stop and if the Department of Foreign Affairs says it’s OK, then we will always consider deploying them.)
Nevertheless, Bello said those who want to work in Israel can still apply for jobs, but their deployment will be on hold.
“Katunayan merong nakahanda na mga 400 na pino-process na yung mga papeles nila pero nangyari naman itong kaguluhan e mahirap na mag-deploy baka mamaya mag mangyari sa kanila,” he noted.
(In fact, there are 400 workers whose documents are being processed but then the conflict broke out, it would be hard to deploy them, something untoward might happen to them.)
Earlier, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said some 400 Filipino caregivers were set to be deployed to Israel before the end of May.
Ready to repatriate
Meanwhile, Bello said that the Department of Labor and Employment has a rapid response team in Israel, which is ready to repatriate Filipino workers who wish to come back to the Philippines.
“Walang gustong umuwi, kasi naman tuloy tuloy ang trabaho nila,” he noted.
(No one wants to go home because their work in unhampered.)
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