DOLE Middle East Task Force expanded

A March 3, 2011 press release by the Department of Labor and Employment

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda-Baldoz yesterday added two more members to the DOLE Task Force Middle East and assigned former Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) administrative staff to render assistance to its crisis-monitoring center to ensure that the task force is able to perform its expanded tasks and responsibilities.

“The task force is not only on a 24/7 monitoring and assessment mode. It is also providing round-the-clock coordination services and action follow-through with our POLOs in the Middle East, particularly Libya, so that the government’s evacuation and repatriation efforts will be faster.” Baldoz said.

Labor Attaches Bulyok Nilong and Jeffrey Cortazar are the new members of the task force. Nilong is now in Egypt to augment the government’s ground team facilitating the entry of OFWs through the Libya-Egypt border. Cortazar on the other hand is one of the regular POLO officers on-duty at the crisis monitoring center.

A total of 27 former POLO administrative staff has been assigned in group of twos at the center. On a 12-hour shift schedule, they are to provide staff support to the labor attaches on duty.

Earlier, the DOLE has beefed up its Middle East teams by sending out welfare officers Ron Lionel Bartolome and James Mendiola to Tunisia; Eduardo Mendoza, Jr. and Sergio Borgueta, Jr. to Cairo; Mario Antonio and Orlando Nadora to Malta; Cesar Chavez Jr. and Romyl Cabillo to Yemen; Paterno Juridico Jr. to Bahrain; and William Merginio and Mamerto Mercado to Greece.

The DOLE Middle East crisis monitoring center was established by Secretary Baldoz last week after street protests erupted in Libya that led to the evacuation and repatriation of OFWs from that country.