MANILA – Overseas Filipino workers who fall under certain skills are allowed to return to Libya, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
"The POEA [Philippine Overseas Employment Administration] Governing Board has approved Board Resolution No, 17 Series of 2014 allowing the processing and redeployment of OFWs under certain skill categories, based on the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs," said DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.
The resolution would allow the gradual processing of returning OFWs only in the following categories:
- OFWs working off-shore in oil rig platforms, provided that they will not pass through or spend their vacation in mainland Libya;
- Filipinos who are married to Libyan nationals; and
- OFWs employed in international organizations, only if such agencies maintain a presence in Libya.
"Workers under these categories are allowed to return to Libya provided that their employers will issue a letter guaranteeing their safety, security, and repatriation, in case the situation in Libya worsens and there is imminent danger to their lives and well-being," Baldoz said.
To further ensure the safety of OFWs working in oil rig platforms, they are required to secure a POLO [Philippine Overseas Labor Office] -verified employer contingency plan for evacuation and repatriation of workers, and a POLO-verified employer undertaking which guarantees their safety and readiness for immediate repatriation with clear work site location.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised alert level 4 in Libya last July 18 due to the continuous deterioration of the peace and order situation in that country.
Alert level 4 calls for a mandatory repatriation of all Filipinos there and imposes a total ban on the processing and deployment of all OFWs.
Baldoz has decided to augment the POLO team in Libya headed by Labor Attaches Mel Dizon and Nasser Mustaffa by ordering the deployment of Labor Attache David Des Dicang to Dubai and fast-track the deployment to Abu Dhabi of Labor Attache Ofelia Almenario to assist in the repatriation of OFWs based in Libya.
"From experience, OFWs from Libya transit through Dubai and Abu Dhabi in coming home to the Philippines. The presence of Labor Attaches Dicang and Almenario will greatly help the POLOs in these areas facilitate the smooth transit of returning workers to the country," Baldoz said.