Dozens of Filipinos have escaped the war-torn Gaza Strip, seeking refuge in Egypt after Filipino diplomats secured their safe passage and Qatar mediated the opening of the Rafah crossing.
According to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the group of 40 Filipinos is en route to Cairo, where they plan to board flights back to the Philippines. This exodus comes in the wake of two Filipino doctors who successfully fled the Gaza Strip last week. President Marcos expressed hope for the safe passage of the remaining Filipinos, many of whom are married to Palestinians, and are eager to leave the embattled region.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila revealed that most of the 134 Filipinos in Gaza are awaiting an opportunity to depart. The conflict was ignited when Hamas militants launched an attack on southern Israel, leading to a full-scale war between Israel and Hamas. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, an estimated 30,000 Filipinos were residing and working in Israel, with many serving as caregivers for the elderly, the sick, and the disabled.
The remittances from these workers have played a significant role in sustaining the Philippines’ fragile economy, underscoring the country’s status as a major global source of manual labor.