DOLE update on the OFWs situation in Libya

A March 1, 2011 press release by Department of Labor and Employment

Update on Libya

Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the evacuation of OFWs from Benghazi will be today, March 1, with the 1,700-passenger capacity chartered ferry, “Ionian Queen”, expected to dock at 8:00 A.M. Libya time (2:00 P.M. Manila time) at the Port of Gulani in Benghazi.

“Our POLO in Tripoli has already sent us a list consisting of 1,546 Filipinos expected to board the “Ionian Queen”, Baldoz said.


In Tripoli, Baldoz said the Philippine Embassy and the POLO have transported another 534 workers to Djerba in the Tunisian border, but we have yet to receive the names of the OFWs transported. The POLO will send these within the day.


I wish to report the following updates:

Status of Repatriation

As of 8:00 A.M. today, some 440 OFWs have come home, with 161 more expected to arrive today and 36 tomorrow, excluding the 180 OFWs whose arrival onboard a MidEastern Airlines chartered by the government from Dubai was delayed.

The names of OFWs who have come from Libya is posted in the DOLE website, www.dole.gov.ph.

There are still 4,097 Filipinos awaiting evacuation from Libya, and finally, repatriation to the Philippines.

Also as of today, reports collated by the DOLE Middle East Crisis Monitoring Center place the number of Filipinos already out of Libya at 3,544. Arrangement for their onward transportation to the Philippines is in various stages.

POLO-Tripoli has also e-mailed a list of 100 OFWs at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) in Tripoli.

Company-initiated repatriation

Company-initiated evacuation and repatriation continues, although there are some companies that have no capability to do so. They have come to the government for assistance. For these companies, we are trying to get as much information from them as to the names, location, and contact information of their workers.

“Our people continues to liaise and follow-up with the recruitment agencies of these companies here in the Philippines.”


Reintegration

Baldoz said the OWWA is ready to provide a grant assistance of P10,000 to every OFW coming home from Libya, in addition to the package of assistance that the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) is preparing for them. This package of assistance includes psycho-social counseling, skills training and upgrading, referral and placement for local and overseas employment, entrepreneurial and management training, business loan being coordinated with state financial institutions (Land Bank, DBP), etc.

Phone and e-mail inquiries


The Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration use a common procedure in handling phone and e-mail inquiries from families of OFWs in Libya.

The calls and e-mails, she said, are being attended to by the OWWA 24/7 Operation Center, DOLE Call Center, and the POEA Assistance and Information Desk. She encouraged the public to avail of the services of these information assistance units.

We continue to communicate our efforts to the public regularly and we wish to assure our OFWs in Libya and their families here at home that the government is sincerely doing the best that it can under the circumstances for their safety and protection.