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More Pinoys seeking repatriation from Israel

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from the three batches of 60 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have arrived from Israel, 120 are still expected to come home, according to Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) officer-in-charge Hans Cacdac.

“We still have more or less 120 requests for repatriation,” Cacdac said in a radio interview, noting that the Philippine government is already processing the repatriation. “When I say process, it means calling them three times and making sure that they really want to go home.”

Half of those who requested repatriation assistance, Cacdac said, had already finished their employment contract and were scheduled to return home when hostilities in the Gaza Strip broke out.

Cacdac said the government is ensuring that OFWs will still be on good terms with their employers so they could have the option to return when the situation in Israel improves.

Most of the Filipinos requesting repatriation are caregivers while the rest are hotel workers. The repatriation from Israel remains voluntary.

Cacdac, however, said the number of those seeking repatriation is expected to increase.

The returning OFWs will receive a one-time P50,000 grant as well as other assistance, including livelihood, re-employment facilitation and skills retooling.

At this time, Cacdac said, the Philippine government continues to locate the remaining two Filipino caregivers still unaccounted for.

In Gaza, Cacdac said there are 137 Filipinos who are hoping to return to the Philippines. Cacdac said they are not OFWs, but Filipinos married to Palestinian nationals. He said they would be repatriated as soon as they are able to cross from Gaza to Egypt.

The DMW official said the government is also in the process of repatriating Filipinos from Lebanon, although they still do not have the actual number of OFWs returning home from Lebanon.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that there are more than 17,000 Filipinos in Lebanon. But migration consultant Manny Geslani said the figure could be higher since there are many Filipinos who entered Lebanon illegally.

The local government of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental will be naming its newly built evacuation center in honor