By Marita Moaje

SAFE. Freed Hamas hostage Gelienor Pacheco (carrying child), a caregiver in Israel, is reunited with his family at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Paranaque City on Dec. 18, 2023. He spent 49 days in captivity in conflict-torn Gaza. (PNA file photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – Sixty-one overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from war-torn Israel are set to arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Thursday.

The group is the biggest number to avail of the government’s voluntary repatriation program since hostilities broke out in October last year between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac said in an advisory Monday.

Cacdac will be joined by DMW and other government officials in welcoming the OFWs when they arrive at the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City.

Since October 2023, the Department of Foreign Affairs has not lifted Alert Level 2, which is issued if there are real threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbance, instability, or external threats.

DMW data showed that as of January this year, 463 OFWs in Israel have already availed of voluntary repatriation. (PNA)