MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government has launched a helpdesk to provide updates and assistance to overseas Filipinos affected by the mass protests across Lebanon amid tensions at the Israel-Gaza border.
In an advisory issued Thursday evening, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said the Philippine government established the helpdesk with the assistance of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Filipinos in need can contact DMW and OWWA’s 24/7 Task Force Lebanon Helpdesk at the following numbers:
+63 2 1348
WhatsApp and Viber
+63 908 3268344
+63 927 1478186
+63 920 5171059
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega earlier told reporters that contingency plans are always ready for Filipinos in Lebanon.
“(T)here are about 70 Filipinos in the north of northern Israel across the border with kung saan tumatama ang rockets. And there are about 2,700 Filipinos to be precise in southern Lebanon,” de Vega said at a press conference.
(There are about 70 Filipinos in northern Israel, across the border from where the rockets hit. And there are about 2,700 Filipinos, to be precise, in southern Lebanon.)
Asked whether the country will raise the alert level in Lebanon and Israel, the foreign ministry official said this has not yet been the case.
“We haven’t done that yet, because it is common practice. They know what to do in Israel. In southern Lebanon, we are waiting for the final advice from our embassy in Beirut, so we will inform you about that, but we will ensure that they are safe,” said de Vega.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy in Lebanon reminded Filipinos in a separate advisory on Thursday to “exercise caution” and avoid public places, gatherings and travel within Lebanon, especially in the south, unless necessary.