Statement of the Labor and Employment Secretary on assistance for OFWs in Libya

Department of Labor and Employment (Philippines)Image via WikipediaStatement of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz:
On the the situation and possible assistance of Filipino workers in Libya

[Released February 22, 2011]

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), led by myself, Undersecretary for Employment Danilo Cruz, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Carmelita Dimzon, and Philippine Overseas Employment Administrator (POEA) head Carlos Cao, Jr., and other DOLE officials met with licensed recruitment agency (LRA) executives yesterday to discuss and update each other on the current situation concerning our OFWs in Libya.

Officials and members of the DOLE Task Force for Libya and Algeria, led by Labor Attache Jaime Jimenez, also attended the meeting.

I have established this Task Force primarily to coordinate with the DFA in the implementation of its contingency plans and to continually assess and monitor the situation in the Middle Eastern countries which are being rocked by street disturbances and protests.

During the meeting ordered, the LRAs informed the DOLE that their foreign employers are taking care of our OFWs in Libya; that these employers have their own contingency plans which are ready for activation; and that they are fully cooperating with the LRAs by providing updates.

The LRAs have also assured the DOLE that in the event of a relocation, evacuation, or repatriation, they are ready to cooperate and assist the government. They will submit to the DOLE the names and gender of their OFWs in Libya and their exact workplaces. They also assured the DOLE that they are willing to re-deploy OFWs from Libya to be dislocated to countries where they have employers.

The OWWA has already set aside P25 million for contingency expenses for our OFWs in Libya.

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.