THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised Alert Level 4 in Gaza, which means the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos there because of the worsening security situation.
There are 137 Filipinos in Gaza.
The Israeli military on Friday instructed civilians in Gaza City to relocate south within 24 hours for their own safety, signaling a land invasion is imminent.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the public that, due to the current situation in Gaza, we have placed Gaza under Alert Level 4 (mandatory repatriation),” DFA spokesman Ma. Teresita Daza said on Sunday.
She said the Philippine government has “accounted for 131 of our nationals in Gaza, and at least 78 of them are now situated near the Rafah border crossing near Egypt.”
“All the rest have left northern Gaza or Gaza City, which is expected to be the main site for hostilities,” Daza said in a statement.
“The Philippine government continues to work on the repatriation of our nationals and will provide updates on developments,” she added.
The first batch of Filipinos in Israel, consisting of eight individuals, is set to return to the country on October 16.
Gaza remains under a strict blockade. However, the DFA is actively collaborating with diplomatic partners to facilitate the safe passage of Filipinos through the Rafah border crossing.
The government, through the Department of Migrant Workers and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, will cover all repatriation costs, including the transportation of remains.
The advisory against travel to Israel remains.
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