Philippines lifts temporary suspension of OFW deployment to Israel

Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 14 2021 07:19 PM | Updated as of Jul 15 2021 03:00 PM

MANILA — The Philippines on Wednesday lifted the temporary suspension of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Israel more than two months since the policy was imposed amid the violence that erupted then in the Gaza Strip.

In a memorandum addressed to Labor Attache Rodolfo Gabasan of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Israel, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III ordered the lifting of the temporary ban "effective immediately", as recommended by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The temporary deployment suspension began May 20, 2021.

Bello said low-level incidents have been noted after a truce was reached between Hamas militants and the Israeli Defense Force on May 21, 2021.

Some 400 caregivers bound for Israel and hired by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration were directly affected by the deployment suspension. 

Bello earlier explained he only wanted to make sure of the OFWs' safety before deploying them. 

The exchange in rocket attacks and airstrikes between Hamas militants and the Israeli Defense Force started on May 10 and lasted for 11 days before both sides were pressured by the international community to de-escalate hostilities. 

Around 29,000 Filipinos work in Israel and 91 in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, according to the DFA.

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