Gov't can 'easily provide' jobs to OFWs from strife-torn Libya - Labor chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2019 04:56 PM

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The government can "easily provide" alternative employment opportunities to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by a battle for the Libyan capital, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Sunday.

At least 220 people have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded as eastern Libyan National Army (LNA) forces seek to take Tripoli from an internationally recognized government, the World Health Organization said.

The Philippine government last week ordered a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Tripoli.

"We could easily provide them (OFWs) alternative working opportunities," Bello told ANC.

Among alternative markets for OFW, he said, is Japan which needs 345,000 workers across 14 major industries.

Members of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces fire during fighting with Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 20, 2019. Hani Amara, Reuters

Forces loyal to Libya's unity government announced Saturday a counter-attack against military strongman Khalifa Haftar's fighters.

Sustained rocket and shellfire were then heard in several districts of Tripoli, after several days of less intense fighting and stalemate on the ground.

A Filipino was wounded on Tuesday in a rocket attack in a Tripoli neighborhood, where more than 200 Filipinos reside, according to Cato.

Mortars struck a hospital with 18 Filipinos in the outskirts where heavy fighting took place on Wednesday, while 6 Filipinos were trapped in fighting in another part of the city on Friday.

Libya is home to around 1,000 Filipinos, according to a Department of Affairs bulletin released earlier this month. Many of the OFWs there are nurses or workers in oil fields, Bello earlier said. With a report from Reuters

ANC, 21 April 201