Filipino fatalities in Israel climb to 4

GAZA. Palestinians rescue a child from under the rubble after Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
GAZA. Palestinians rescue a child from under the rubble after Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Wednesday, October 18, 2023.AP

ANOTHER Filipino national was killed amid the ongoing conflict in Israel, bringing the total number of Filipino fatalities to four, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said Thursday, October 19, 2023.

“I regret to inform the nation that we have received confirmation from the Israeli government of another Filipino casualty in Israel,” Manalo said in a social media post.

“Out of respect for the wishes of the family, we shall be withholding details on the identity of the victim. But we have assured the family of the government’s full support and assistance,” he added.

In a radio interview, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary for migrant workers Eduardo de Vega said the fourth fatality, a Filipina working as caregiver, was reported missing since the Hamas staged the attack on October 7.

There were around 30,000 Filipinos in Israel.

The DFA has raised its crisis warning in Gaza City, the center of the Hamas attack to Alert Level 4, making the evacuation of Filipinos there mandatory.

From Gaza, they need to cross the Rafah border crossing between Israel to Egypt where they will be met by Philippine authorities for their repatriation.

Authorities closed the crossing over fears of Hamas entry.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) has launched assistance programs to support and provide relief to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the Hamas-Israel conflict.

Owwa Administrator Arnel Ignacio said they have allocated funds for every Filipino worker to address their basic needs and alleviate their financial burdens.

The agency also offers a repatriation assistance package of P50,000 for each returning OFW on top of airport and transportation assistance.

Recognizing that some OFWs may need to stay overnight in Manila while waiting for their connecting flights back to their hometowns, Owwa is providing hotel accommodations to guarantee their comfort and security during this temporary stay. (SunStar Philippines)

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