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224 OFWs from Israel return to Philippines

OFWsMANILA – A total of 224 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and eight children have so far been repatriated back to the country by the Philippine government since armed militants from the Palestinian group Hamas launched their attacks in southern Israel on October 7.

On Monday, November 13, the seventh batch of OFWs from Israel composed of 39 individuals and two children arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 via Etihad Airways flight EY424.

“There are 29 caregivers and 10 hotel workers in this group of returnees,” the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said in its Facebook post.

Senior government officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the DMW led by Assistant Secretary Levinson Alcantara welcomed the latest batch of OFW returnees.

The group was escorted to the Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel by Migrant Workers Office - Israel (MWO-Israel) Labor Attaché Rodolfo Gabasan and welfare officer Dina Ponciano.

En route to Manila, Ambassador Alfonso Ferdinand Ver and Consul General Marford Angeles of the Embassy of the Philippines in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) met the 39 OFWs from Israel while in transit through Abu Dhabi International Airport to check on them.

The Presidential Communications Office earlier announced that benefits and assistance given by the Philippine government to repatriated OFWs include the return ticket from Israel to Manila, a USD200 financial assistance for their immediate needs, and hotel accommodation in Israel while waiting for their flight.

Upon arrival in Manila, they will also receive PHP50,000 from DMW, PHP50,000 from OWWA, care kits and food packs from the National Reintegration Center for OFWs, initial physical and medical check-up, and medical referral services if needed by the DOH, psychosocial assessment and evaluation by the DSWD and the DOH, PHP20,000 financial assistance for individuals in crisis situations from the DSWD, and skills training voucher and care kits from TESDA.

The DMW-OWWA will also shoulder their hotel accommodation, transit flights, bus tickets and food as they wait for their transit to their homes and provinces. 

By Marita Moaje/PNA