More Filipinos are expressing their desire to leave Lebanon as tensions escalate between Israel and the Islamist group Hezbollah. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) stated on Thursday, Oct. 26 that the number of Filipinos wanting to leave now stands at 113.
According to DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Eduardo de Vega, repatriating Filipinos from Lebanon is still relatively easy due to the availability of commercial flights. In contrast, the ongoing conflict in Gaza has made it more difficult for individuals to leave.
De Vega encouraged Filipinos with relatives in Lebanon to urge them to return to the Philippines while it is still possible. He assured the public that the embassy has a contingency plan in place to accommodate an increasing number of repatriation requests.
Currently, there are approximately 17,000 Filipinos in Lebanon, with 113 expressing their intention to be repatriated. The majority of these individuals, according to the Philippine Embassy in Beirut, are caregivers.
However, many Filipinos in Lebanon may choose not to be repatriated immediately due to the lack of job opportunities in the Philippines. De Vega explained that some individuals do not have the necessary documentation to go back to Lebanon if they leave.
Despite the current tense situation, many Filipinos in Lebanon are reportedly content and may not feel the need to return to the Philippines.
The DFA has placed Lebanon under Alert Level 3, which allows for voluntary repatriation, due to the ongoing tension in the region.