Total deployment ban to Libya imposed

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Friday, May 30, 2014

MANILA (Updated) -- With the crisis alert level in Libya already raised to three, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) imposed on Friday a total deployment ban on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there.

Based on POEA Resolution 8-2014, POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the Governing Board has already approved the total deployment ban on both new hires and returning OFWs.

"We have received a communication from the DFA Secretary on the new crisis alert level in Libya. Thus, the Governing Board decided to impose a total deployment ban on the processing and deployment of all OFWs bound for that country," said Cacdac.

On Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised the Crisis Alert Level in Libya from Level 2 (Restriction Phase) to Level 3 (Voluntary Repatriation Phase) amid the worsening security situation in that country.

Just last week, the POEA issued a resolution banning the deployment of newly hired OFWs bound for Libya. This was after the DFA raised the Crisis Alert Level in Libya from 1 (Precautionary Phase) to 2 (Restriction Phase).

But Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz urged OFWs in Libya to be calm and take extra care to ensure their welfare and safety.

"Our OFWs in Libya are high-skilled and this affords them protection. Based on our experience, OFWs in Libya are highly aware of their situation and this makes it easier for the government to deal with security and protection issues concerning them," said the Labor chief.

Baldoz, meanwhile, said there is no need yet to send a Dole augmentation team to Libya, although they are ready to send one to assist the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, if necessary.

POEA records show that there are about 9,754 OFWs, including returnees and new hires, in Libya as of 2013. (HDT/Sunnex)

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