4 Negrenses OFWs arriving from Libya

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Monday, August 11, 2014

AT LEAST four Negrenses are among the 400 overseas Filipino workers in Libya who are set to arrive in the country on August 15 through repatriation.

Ernesto Begot Jr., from Barangay Bata, Bacolod City, said in a radio interview that of the four of them, he is the only one from Bacolod while the three others are from Binalbagan town.

Begot said he used to work at Al Jalah Trauma Hospital in Benghazi, Libya that was closed since June because of the ongoing conflict in the area.


He said there are 15 Filipinos who used to work in the hospital who are coming home.

Begot added that they took a boat from Benghazi to Misratah to pick up other OFWs going to Malta airport, where they will be planed home to Manila.

Since last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been calling on Filipinos in Libya to immediately leave the country following the closure of the Tunisian border.

"The DFA is appealing with urgency to those who have not made the decision to be repatriated to please consider doing so as the avenues of repatriation are quickly diminishing," said DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario in a statement.

Tunisia closed on August 2 its main border crossing with Libya after thousands of foreign nationals, including Filipinos, tried to break through the Ras Ajdir fence.

Tunisia is the most accessible escape route from Libya, where rival armed groups have been battling for weeks.

Del Rosario said land evacuation is still ongoing while repatriation by sea is already forthcoming.

He said a vessel has been identified already to secure Filipinos safely from Benghazi and Misratah and to be ferried to Malta for their subsequent flights to the Philippines.

"We call on those that availed repatriation already to continue to convince their friends and co-workers, who are still in Libya, to likewise avail of the said program," said del Rosario.

Prior to the border’s closure, the Philippine government was able to repatriate 50 Filipinos through the Ras Ajdir fence. (with reports from Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 11, 2014.

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