MANILA-- The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), on Wednesday vowed to assist all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be repatriated to the country for overstaying in Israel.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said the agency is ready to provide reintegration assistance to all Filipinos reportedly arrested and facing deportation in the Middle Eastern state.
In a statement, the DFA also noted the Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv is coordinating with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration for additional welfare and reintegration assistance.
A Haaretz article on Monday has reported the recent arrests of Filipino migrants and their children in Israel. The Population, Immigration and Border Authority was cited as saying these Filipino nationals are set for deportation in July or August this year.
The DFA said Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs Leslie Baja has raised the issue with Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General Gilad Cohen at the sidelines of the annual bilateral consultations between the two nations.
Citing the "friendly relations" between Tel Aviv and Manila, Baja requested the Israeli official to treat overstaying Filipinos who need to be repatriated in an orderly and benignant manner.
Baja said Filipino workers have a responsibility to observe the immigration laws of the host government.
Most of the Filipino children going through deportation were reportedly born and have spent most of their young life in Israel with little to no knowledge of Filipino language.
Alexander, a 10-year-old Filipino, whose mother was jailed last week, was among the affected children featured by Haaretz.
"I've had nightmares every night since then. I can't speak Tagalog, only Hebrew, and don't know anything about the Philippines," the kid was quoted as saying.
Under Israeli laws, children of foreigners who do not have legal residence in Israel, whether born inside the country, are not eligible for resident status different from his/her parents.
Source: Philippines News Agency