Press Release
October 17, 2023

Bong Go urges swift action to protect Filipinos following DFA Advisory Level 4 on Gaza

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go has voiced his concerns on the dangers faced by the Filipino community in Gaza and Israel due to the continuing hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

Go underscored the indiscriminate nature of the crisis stating, "Bullets know no color nor creed. The urgent need of the hour is to support de-escalation and peace."

Being a Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, he voiced specific apprehensions regarding the dangerous situation of Filipinos caught in the crossfire, and stressed the immediate necessity to facilitate safe exit pathways for those desiring to leave Gaza, or to establish recognized sanctuaries as mandated by international humanitarian law.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Advisory Level 4 is issued in severe situations where there is either a "large-scale internal conflict or full-blown external attack" in a particular region or country.

Upon the announcement of Alert Level 4, a phase of evacuation or mandatory repatriation is initiated to ensure the safety and security of individuals, especially Filipinos abroad, by moving them out of harm's way.

Go firmly said that the advisory should be accompanied by prompt actions from the government to safeguard the Filipino community.

"The latest DFA advisory is a stark reminder of the harsh realities on the ground. It's imperative that we, as a government, act with speed and deliberation to keep our fellow countrymen out of harm's way," said Go.

Acknowledging his role as a legislator, Go pledged to work alongside his Senate colleagues in supporting any and all endeavors aimed at ensuring the safety and security of Filipinos in the troubled regions.

"I, alongside my esteemed colleagues in the Senate, am fully committed to supporting any initiatives aimed at securing the well-being of our fellow Filipinos in these affected areas," affirmed the senator.

In response to the escalating violence, 131 Filipinos have already been evacuated from the war-torn region of Gaza, with the Philippine government actively working to repatriate them amidst the ongoing conflict.

According to DFA, 78 of these individuals are now situated near the Rafah border crossing near Egypt, while the remaining 53 have moved away from northern Gaza or Gaza City, which is anticipated to be the focal point of hostilities.

Go also took a moment to reflect on the broader implications of the crisis, extending his prayers and wishes for stability in this crucial region, which holds significant religious and historical importance to people around the globe.

"I continue to pray and wish for stability in this most important area for all of the world's faithful," he said.

The senator has been a staunch supporter of the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), and was one of the authors and co-sponsors of Republic Act No. 11641 that led to the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

"The DMW Act was designed to protect our OFWs. Now, more than ever, it's time to put this law into action to protect our kababayans," Go emphasized.

Go also filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2414, known as the "OFW Ward Act." If passed into law, every hospital under the Department of Health (DOH) across the country will have a specialized ward for OFWs and their family members who require hospitalization.

Go has also filed SBN 2297, which seeks to institutionalize the OFW Hospital and ensure its continuous operation. The bill aims to improve healthcare services for OFWs and their families by strengthening the existing facility and allocating necessary funds for its maintenance and operation.

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