PH gov't: No widespread evacuation of OFWs in Israel

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) — The Philippine government is assisting Filipinos in Israel wanting to take refuge in bomb shelters amid the Israel-Palestinian conflict, an official said, adding they are ready to conduct in-country evacuation should tensions further escalate.

While there are about 30,000 overseas Filipino workers in Israel, only around 400 are based in conflict-affected areas.

"Ang isinasagawa lang natin is to make sure ‘yung mga kailangan ng shelter ay natutulungan natin," Overseas Workers Welfare Administration administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in a virtual briefing Monday.

"May mga humihingi ng assistance, pero hindi sila marami... Hindi widespread ang evacuation, pero handa po para mag-conduct ng in-country evacuation," he added.

[Translation: What we're doing is making sure that we help those who seek shelter. There are those asking for assistance, but they are not many. The evacuation is not widespread, but we are ready to conduct an in-country evacuation.]

The OWWA official said there was no immediate need yet to perform mass repatriation, but stressed the Philippine government "stand[s] ready."

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"In general, safe and sound ang mga OFWs sa Israel," he added.

[Translation: In general, OFWs in Israel are safe and sound.]