The Philippines has suspended the deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers to Israel amid the escalating tension and violence between Israel and Palestine.
In an interview with Teleradyo today, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the department will consult with the Department of Foreign Affairs before deploying workers in the region. (Read: Bishop Questions Limit on Medical Workers’ Deployment)
“Kasi nakikita naman natin, putukan dito, putukan doon. Mahirap na pagka mag-deploy tayo mamaya may mangyari, malaki ang pananagutan ko po,” he said.
The deployment will resume once the bombings stop and the DFA gives a go signal, Bello added.
Despite the non-deployment, the Department of Labor and Employment will still continue to process papers of OFWs who wish to work in Israel. It was earlier reported that 400 caregivers were to be deployed to Israel before the end of May.
When the violence escalated, the agency said that it sent out a rapid response team to repatriate Filipinos who want to return home. However, none has expressed willingness.
“Walang gustong umuwi, kasi naman tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho nila,” Bello noted. (Read: Pope Appeals for Peace in Jerusalem Amid Ongoing Clashes)
Israel is host to some 30,000 OFWs, most of whom are domestic workers.