MANILA, Philippines –The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to lift the temporary suspension of deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Israel anytime soon.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the decision was based on their assessment indicating it is safe again to send Filipino workers, particularly caregivers and tourism workers there.
“Anytime now (it will be lifted). To our countrymen who want to go to Israel to work just wait because from our assessment it looks safe to deploy again,” he said in a virtual forum on Wednesday.
He added that they will also coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) regarding the situation in the host country.
“So just before we finally decide to lift the temporary suspension or not, I will first contact Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. of the DFA so we know what alert level is there and what is their suggestion whether it is already safe to already resume the deployment of our overseas workers especially our caregivers and hotel workers to Israel,” he said.
Bello said he has already directed Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Bernard Olalia to “get ready” so that his office could start processing the documents of workers.
Once the suspension has been lifted, Bello expects around 1,000 OFWs to be deployed to the Jewish state.
In May, the government temporarily suspended the deployment of OFWs to Israel following tensions between Israeli troops and Hamas militants.
A ceasefire brokered by Egypt ended the almost two-week conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas that claimed the lives of at least 231 Palestinians and 12 Israelis.