The Department of Foreign Affairs has prioritized the safety and protection of Filipinos in the Middle East.
At every opportunity, the Department’s men and women in the region have sought to ensure the safe evacuation of Filipinos out of the danger zones.
It bears noting that Gaza remains under a total blockade, with the movement of people and goods severely curtailed, necessitating close coordination with the relevant foreign governments.
While it is taking some time to secure permission from relevant authorities for Filipinos to exit Gaza and enter through Rafah, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and the relevant units in our headquarters in Manila, as well as our Ambassadors in Israel, Egypt, and Jordan have been working closely with authorities of Israel and Egypt and are ready to undertake the movement should the list of Filipinos for evacuation from Gaza be approved.
The Secretary for Foreign Affairs has written and met with officials from key countries, and spoke with some of his counterparts to follow up and convey strong representations in behalf of affected Filipinos.
On 01 November, following an advisory that a limited number of evacuees may finally be permitted to exit Gaza via the Rafah border crossing, Secretary Manalo wrote to Israel’s Foreign Minister Cohen and Egypt’s Foreign Minister Shoukry to once again request their governments to issue the necessary permits for the safe passage of our countrymen.
On 02 November, Secretary Manalo requested a call with FM Cohen to follow up his letter and appeal to ensure as soon as possible exit of Filipinos across the border (Rafah).
The DFA remains committed in ensuring the protection of kababayans who are caught in this unfortunate situation.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines.