Israel-based Pinoys urged to stay calm, vigilant

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2013 12:30 PM | Updated as of Sep 13 2013 08:30 PM

MANILA – The Filipino community in Israel is urged to stay calm, but not to let its guard down, amid the planned attack by the US and its allies on Syria.

"I have been informed by Labor Attache [Jaime] Jimenez that the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv has re-activated the Philippine contingency plan for any emergency that could affect our OFWs," said Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

Syria, which shares a northern border with Israel and Lebanon, is embroiled in a prolonged civil war. The government has been earnestly repatriating overseas Filipino workers, mostly domestic helpers, from that country to ensure their welfare and safety.

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) has met with accredited Israeli foreign placement agencies and representatives of the Federation of Filipino Communities in Israel to discuss updates and concerns on the current political situation in Syria.

Jimenez said the Philippine embassy has also assigned its personnel, including POLO staff, to specific tasks in monitoring and responding to any emergency situation.

'The welfare and interest, as well as the safety of our OFWs in Israel, and in any country of destination for that matter, are foremost and takes the highest consideration in times of conflict, calamity, or turmoil. But I also call on our OFWs to cooperate with the government, refrain from unnecessary activities that may pose risks, and be on guard," said Baldoz.