14 more Filipinos arrive in PHL from Gaza

TOPSHOT – A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing during Israeli bombardment over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on February 10, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militant group. (Photo by Said Khatib / AFP)

(Eagle News)–Fourteen more Filipinos have arrived in the Philippines from Gaza, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

According to the DFA, its Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs, together with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Manila office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), welcomed the repatriates on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

“Welcoming the repatriates is the last part of the DFA-OUMWA’s assistance regularly extended to distressed Filipinos and their families arriving from conflict areas. In a way, we are assuring them that they are now safe in the Philippines,” Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Eduardo José de Vega said.

He said as with past repatriates from Gaza,  the DFA, through the Philippine Embassy in Cairo, Egypt provided welfare assistance to the families who arrived.

“We hope that it can help them start over,” De Vega said.

According to the DFA, this is the eighth repatriation the OUMWA facilitated since the Hamas group’s attacks on the Gaza envelope on Oct. 7, 2023, and the subsequent conflict in Gaza between the group and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The DFA said the OUMWA coordinated the repatriation with the Philippine embassies in Cairo, Amman (Jordan), and Doha (Qatar).