Busy DFA hotline adds to Libya OFWs' anxieties


Posted at Feb 23 2011 08:37 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2011 04:37 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Relatives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Libya were emotional when they trooped to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to personally find out what the government is doing to aid their spouses in the troubled country.

The visit was prompted by the inability to contact the DFA hotline, which added to their anxiety.

“Nagda-dial ako the whole day kasi gusto ko pong makahingi ng tulong eh hindi po talaga pumapasok. Busy ng busy,” said Marilou Francisco.

“Hindi na naming alam ang gagawin namin. Syempre po nasa malayong lugar sila dito,” said the wife of another OFW, Raquel Maan.

The OFWs spouses, who came all the way from different provinces, cannot stop thinking about the safety of their husbands.

“Pinagsisira na po ang mga gamit, pinagkukuha na po ang personal belongings, mga pagkain wala na po," added Francisco.

Lea Pontanilla is also worried after the last conversation she had with her husband.

“Exact words niya, baka hindi ko na kayo makita,” Pontanilla said.

The OFWs relatives were met by DFA Executive Director Ricardo Endaya.

“Ang situation ngayon sa Libya is deteriorating and we are worried about the safety of Filipino workers. Magdasal po tayo na mag-improve ang situation sa Libya,” Endaya said.

Endaya left for Libya Tuesday afternoon together with 9 other DFA and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) personnel.
Since airports are closed, Endaya’s team will fly to Tunisia and will travel by land to Tripoli.

OFWs in Tripolo will also take Tunisia to escape the political unrest while those in Benghazi and Al-Bayda will move out of Libya through Egypt.

Relatives also asked about their kin working in the desert, claiming the government is focused only on major cities.

“Nakatutok lang sila sa Tripoli at Benghazi, how about yung nasa El Brega? Pinasok na po sila," Francisco said. Report from Nina Corpuz, ABS-CBN News