KUWAIT – Egyptian immigration authorities are prepared to provide a 30-day temporary visa to Filipinos from Gaza.
“Inassure ako ng chief ng immigration na walang problema ang mga Pilipinong nasa Gaza na gustong pumasok sa Egyptian territory. They will be given temporary visa to stay there for at least 30 days hanggang sa ma-relocate sila at makauwi ng Pilipinas,” said Ambassador Ricardo Endaya.
Endaya explained that crossing back from Egypt to Gaza is not that easy.
“They said they have to follow certain procedures that must be coordinated with the Hamas, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the Philippine embassy,” said Endaya.
The Philippine Rapid Response Team in Cairo has reached the Rafah border. Endaya said there is still a huge Egyptian military presence between Egypt and Gaza because of threats coming from the militants.
“Kaya nandirito pa rin sila full alert, naka deploy. They are ready to response,” said Endaya.
Since last week’s ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the situation in the Gaza Strip has started to normalize. However, Endaya said they still want to ensure the safety of over a hundred Filipinos there.
“Wala kaming direct communication sa mga Pilipino sa Gaza, kaya ito ang balak namin, puntahan sila ng personal sa Gaza City mismo para malaman namin kung talagang ayaw na nilang umuwi o gusto pa nilang magpa-repatriate,” Endaya said.
He added, “We will respect kung gusto nilang tumigil sa Gaza with their family at tutulungan din naman namin sila kung gusto nilang umuwi sa Pilipinas”.