MANILA, Philippines – The temporary suspension on the deployment of Filipino workers to Israel stands despite criticism from the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Saturday.
In a statement, the DFA said it is the prerogative of the government to protect all Filipinos, especially those residing in conflict-stricken areas.
“The Philippine Government has the sovereign duty and prerogative to protect all its nationals wherever they may be, especially those caught in conflict areas. No other State can substitute its judgment over that of the Philippine Government regarding the welfare of its own nationals,” the DFA said.
An Alert Level 2 was issued by the DFA on November 20 for central and southern Israel, which means deployment of new hires to Israel is suspended while vacationing workers may return.
An Alert Level 4 of evacuation and mandatory repatriation, meanwhile, was issued for Gaza.
The DFA has also issued a travel advisory against traveling to Gaza and to postpone trips to central and southern Israel.
DFA also said the Alert Level for Israel and Gaza may be reviewed in due time if the ceasefire continues to hold.