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OFWs must be repatriated now amid Gaza conflict – Speaker October 14,2023 - 06:11 PM
DFA confirms third Filipino fatality in Israel-Hamas conflict

Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip on October 12, 2023. (AP)

MANILA, Philippines — OFWs affected by the intensifying conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinian militant group, Hamas must be urgently repatriated, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez appealed on Saturday.

Romualdez has committed an additional P500,000 from his own funds to aid the family of the third Filipino fatality in the ongoing strife.

In a prior gesture, both he and Tingog Partylist Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez had collectively offered a personal donation of P1 million to help the families of the first two OFWs who tragically perished during the hostilities.

“We’ve learned from DFA and credible news sources that more than a hundred OFWs are eager to return to the Philippines,” Romualdez said.

READ: 7 OFWs missing, 22 saved as war in Israel rages

He emphasized the immediate need for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to expedite the return of OFWs from Israel and the Hamas-led Gaza Strip. Romualdez conveyed confidence in the Philippine Armed Forces and their ability to use C-130 aircraft to securely repatriate OFWs. However, he also noted the DFA and DMW possess essential funds that could potentially charter flights for such purposes. More OFWs want to return home Recent data from the DFA indicates that of the 131 Filipinos in Gaza, an alarming 92 wish to return home. Moreover, in Israel, at least 22 Filipinos have formally sought repatriation, underscoring the pressing need for action.

Romualdez proposed that mercy flights need not land directly in Israel, suggesting alternative sites such as Egypt or Jordan for the safety and expediency of the returning OFWs. He urged those in conflict zones to quickly reach out to the Philippine Embassy to ensure their safety.

READ: DFA confirms third Filipino fatality in Israel-Hamas conflict

“The safety and welfare of Filipino citizens are paramount, and we are committed to working closely with the DFA, DMW, and other relevant authorities to ensure the swift and secure repatriation of our OFWs from the conflict areas,” he said.

The current hostilities have claimed the lives of three Filipinos, all of whom were dedicated caregivers. The most recent casualty, a 49-year-old woman from Negros Occidental, was killed during a Hamas militant attack while attending a music festival near the Gaza-Israel border on October 7.


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22 OFWs in Israel requesting repatriation — DMW 

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TAGS: Hamas, Israel, OFWs

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