Your alternative source of latest Philippine news today. Updated daily to provide general info and latest news to Filipinos.

26 February 2011

1,491 OFWs already evacuated from Libya

A February 26, 2011 press release by the Department of Labor and Employment

Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz today said a total of 1,491 OFWs have already been safely moved out of Libya, most of them coming from Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city.

As of today, the DFA-DOLE interagency teams have confirmed that 1,491 OFWs have been evacuated from Libya mostly under their employers’ contingency and safety plans, said Baldoz.

“Of the 1,491 OFWs, 1,228 are being booked for flights in the transit countries of Tunisia, 14 OFWs; Turkey, 60; Egypt, 1,154; and Madrid, 2,” said Baldoz.

Baldoz said the 14 OFWs in Tunisia are part of a group of 50 workers, 36 of whom would go home on March 2 via Doha, onboard Qatar Airways. The OFWs worked for Hanil Engineering & Construction, a Korean company.

Baldoz made the rundown of the number of OFWs evacuated from Libya as reports of arriving OFWs come in from Philippine embassies in the aforementioned countries and from the ground teams of the government in Libya.

“As of today, there are 204 OFWs who are in transit or about to board their flights for the Philippines. They are expected to arrive today and tomorrow and join the 59 OFWs who have arrived earlier this morning.

The arriving OFWs are part of the 1,600-strong workers of SNC Lavalin in Benghazi, who have been escorted by Libyan nationals out of Libya to the border of Egypt, from where they were repatriated to the Philippines. The company’s remaining 446 workers in Benghazi will be evacuated to Alexandria, Egypt within the next 24 hours.

The arriving OFWs will be met at the airport by their recruitment agency, Asia Konstruct and by DFA and DOLE officials.

“The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) headed by Administrator Carmelita Dimzon and her officials will be at the airport to facilitate their arrival and to provide them appropriate support, including transportation assistance to those who will go home to their provinces,” Baldoz said.

She also said that the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) is ready to lend assistance to the OFWs once they have settled after suffering the ordeal of getting trapped in civil-strife torn Libya.

“I commend Asia Konstrukt and its principal, SNC Lavalin of Canada, as well as other employers and their local recruitment agencies, for helping the government take care of their workers, whose repatriation under the company’s own contingency plan was agreed upon when the DOLE met with the recruitment agencies deploying workers to Libya on Tuesday last week,” Baldoz said.

Baldoz said that the DOLE, in coordination with the DFA, continues with its teams in Libya to work out on the most facile and practical ways to bring home OFWs still in Libya.