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Government readies extraction of 300 OFWs from Israel
At a virtual press briefing yesterday, Labor Attaché to Israel Rudy Gabasan said he was instructed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III of the plan to deploy the team.
Geremy Pintolo/File

Government readies extraction of 300 OFWs from Israel

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - May 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is preparing to deploy a rapid response team to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Israel, amid the escalating violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

At a virtual press briefing yesterday, Labor Attaché to Israel Rudy Gabasan said he was instructed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III of the plan to deploy the team.

“The secretary has given instructions that a rapid response team is now being readied to help us here… That is a very welcome development,” he noted.

According to Gabasan, they are looking at almost 300 overseas Filipino workers in Ashkelon and Ashdod who will be prioritized for extraction.

“We have talked to some churches in Tel Aviv if we can use them as staging areas when we do extraction. We also talked to the local hotel association if they can provide rooms to OFWs when we evacuate them,” he added.

Gabasan gave assurance that they are ready to get the workers “although we need to follow Israel’s protocol.”

But the official underscored that at the moment, they do not see the need yet to extract OFWs from Israel.

He added they are taking their cue from the Department of Foreign Affairs on steps to take.

There are an estimated 30,000 OFWs in Israel.

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