DMW expects 4th batch of Filipino from Israel home by Oct. 30
More and more Filipinos in Israel are grabbing the opportunity to take repatriation flights and flee the intensifying war between the Jewish state and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
Between 20 and 25 additional Filipinos are expected to arrive in Manila on Oct. 30, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) officer in charge Hans Leo Cacdac said on Wednesday.
It will be the fourth batch of Filipino repatriates from Israel since the conflict erupted on Oct. 7.
There are about 30,500 Filipinos in Israel, most of whom work as caregivers.
Over the past two weeks, a total of 59 Filipinos have been flown back from the war-torn Middle Eastern country.
Anthony Mandap, deputy chief of mission at the Philippine Embassy in Israel, said the number of repatriates in the fourth batch may still increase beyond 40.
“But we’re still confirming because some might change their minds,” Mandap told the Inquirer on Wednesday.
He said the embassy had so far received over 200 repatriation inquiries from the Filipino community.
Meanwhile, the Philippine government has received at least 113 repatriation inquiries so far from Filipinos in Lebanon, Foreign Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega reported in an online press briefing on Wednesday.
There are currently about 17,500 Filipinos in Lebanon, where Israeli troops are also in conflict with Hezbollah, another Islamist militant group with ties to Hamas.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has already raised the alert status in Lebanon to level 3. At this level, repatriation is still voluntary.
In Gaza Strip, where repatriation is now mandatory under alert level 4, a total of 136 Filipinos remained trapped as Tel Aviv has yet to open a humanitarian corridor that would allow foreign nationals flee either to the Israeli side or to Egypt.