98 OFWs from Libya arrive today; 16 more tomorrow

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

The DFA-DOLE interagency team on the Libyan crisis headed by Ambassador Chito Brillantes and Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz today welcomed the safe arrival of 98 OFWs from Libya as both reiterated that the joint efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment continues to be intensified to ensure that OFWs still in Libya are located, cared for and protected, and safely repatriated.

“The 98 OFWs comes home today in batches from France, where they were evacuated through the joint efforts of their local recruitment agencies and their employer, Vinci Grand Projects,” Baldoz said, after confirming the reports of the arrival with the DFA-DOLE interagency team on the Libyan crisis.

Baldoz said a composite team from the DFA, DOLE, POEA, and OWWA, which is headed by Adm. Carmelita Dimzon, is now at the airport to lend the arriving OFWs the necessary assistance, such as the return of some of the OFWs to their home provinces.

The labor and employment chief said that the OFWs are on board flights CX901, which arrives 10:25 AM; GF154 which arrives 11:15 AM; SQ910 arriving at 1:10 PM; VN2690 arriving at 1:30 PM; and SQ912 which arrives at 4:00 PM.

“There will be other flights and we will disseminate the information about these as soon as we get confirmation,” she said.

Baldoz also announced that tomorrow, February 27, another batch of 15 OFWs employed by Akakus Craddok USA in Tripoli will arrive via a Qatar Airlines flight from Madrid at 3:00 PM (Madrid time) and will arrive in Manila at about the same time tomorrow. Another OFW, Eduardo Granadozin, also from Madrid, will arrive at 9:00 PM later on the same day.

The 15 OFWs are Jimmy Fastino, Walter Paco, Roberto Abadecio, Leando De Castro, Jose Cacal, F. Punzalan, Castor Abaritos, Carlito Macatangay, Bernard Calnea, Aurelio Patacsil, August Bailey Caringal, Arturo del Rosario, Arnold Salvador, Alan Agriam, and Taguin Abbe.

Baldoz said the 16 OFWs arrived in Spain together with Spanish engineers who evacuated from Libya onboard a chartered flight.

“The Spanish engineers who are workers of Repsol Petroleum of Spain took with them the 16 Filipinos even if they were not Repsol Petroleum employees. For this, we thank the company and the Government of Spain for allowing the OFWs to transit their country,” Baldoz said.

She reported that while in Spain, the Philippine Embassy headed by Ambassador Carlos Salinas and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office under officer-in-charge Welfare Officer Connie Marquez took care of the needs of the OFWs.