MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POEA) defended the deployment ban it implemented in several Israeli cities due to the tensions in the Gaza Strip.
“We cannot compromise the safety of our citizens and therefore we really are implementing a strict suspension of deployment of new hires which means regardless of the stage their in, in terms of processing, we will not process or document newly hired OFWs for southern and central Israel, at least for the time being,” said POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.
Cacdac said they will extend assistance to all those who have been affected by the deployment ban.
“We will talk to the service provider association with respect to Israel and try to thresh out these issues with them so that there would be a consideration of the OFWs who have been processed or on the verge of getting a contract for future employment to Israel once the temporary suspension is lifted,” said Cacdac.
He added that OFWs affected will be referred to the proper agency “to provide alternative options for employment”.
The POEA earlier said that Alert Level 4 is in effect in the Gaza Strip, which automatically imposes total deployment ban in the area.
Meanwhile, Alert Level 2 is still in effect in southern and central Israel—including Sderot, Beersheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem--which limits the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to these areas.
For the said areas, only deployment of vacationing, returning workers shall be allowed. The Bureau