MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) ordered the total deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Libya due to the escalating violence in the North African country.
Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III said the order came from the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and will last until the situation normalizes.
“Upon the advice of the DFA, we are imposing a deployment ban of workers to Libya to ensure their safety and security and to avoid getting caught in its escalating violence,” Bello said.
“We are in coordination with DFA to closely monitor the situation and assess the possible repatriation to ensure workers’ safety and security,” he added. “DOLE is ready to provide assistance to our OFWs who will signify interest to come home.”
Bello further said: “An augmentation team will be dispatched this week to ensure the welfare of our workers, and assist their possible repatriation. Also, we are prepared for any exigency of forced repatriation if the situation deteriorates.”
The DFA raised Alert Level 3 in Tripoli and some areas within a 100-kilometer radius of Libya’s capital on Monday, which is considered as voluntary repatriation phase.
The reintegration assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration awaits OFWs’ possible repatriation from Libya, where around 2,600 documented OFWs are medical workers and skilled workers./PN