Overseas Workers Welfare Administration adds repatriation fund for OFWs in Libya

Department of Labor and Employment (Philippines)Image via WikipediaA February 23, 2011 press release by the Department of Labor and Employment

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is adding P75 million more to the initial P25 million it has earlier allocated for the voluntary repatriation of OFWs from Libya per the instruction of H. E. President Benigno S. Aquino III. The amount is now P100 million.

Baldoz made the announcement as the Task Force Libya established by the DOLE and composed of former labor attaché to Libya Nasser Mustafa, Roberto Bassig and Orlando Nadora of OWWA prepares to leave early tomorrow morning for Tripoli to complement the POLO team in that country and to coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs the movement of OFWs who would like to voluntarily leave Libya.

“The DOLE team is leaving tomorrow after they have obtained their entry visas,” Baldoz said.

The DOLE chief said that since last Tuesday, Feb. 22, the Task Force has been profiling the whereabouts of OFWs in Libya, including monitoring their situation there, in coordination with the OFWs’ local recruitment agencies. The Task Force is also regularly releasing updates to the media on its work.

“We have already received reports during our meeting with local recruitment agencies last Feb. 22 as to the names of foreign employers and the number of OFWs under their employ. We have been assured by most of them that our workers are safe and being taken care of under their own contingency and safety plans,” Baldoz said.

“A Task Force team composed of Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa, Robert Bassig and Orlando Nadora of the OWWA has been issued travel authority to proceed to Libya immediately to assess and monitor the situation there.

“Meanwhile, I have ordered the suspension of the processing and deployment of OFWs to Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen.”