Recruiters asked to help repatriate OFWs in Libya

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has urged recruitment agencies to help in convincing Filipino workers to leave Libya.

POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that repatriating overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is one of the main responsibilities of licensed recruiters, particularly in shouldering the cost.

“We met them (recruitment agencies) and asked them about possibly voluntary repatriating them. They will, in turn, touch base with their workers, their employers, and they will coordinate with them,” the labor official said.

In May 29, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised crisis level alert level 3 in Libya. However, only 51 OFWs have expressed intent to go back to the Philippines.

Recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said thousands of OFWs still want to stay with their jobs in the North African country.

Geslani said majority of the OFWs are afraid of going through the same experience they had in 2011, when they were also convinced by the government to go back home due to political unrest.

“Most of those workers went back to Libya on their own using circuitous routes as the deployment ban that time was not yet lifted by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) but their employers sent them funds to get back to their work sites,” recalled Geslani.

Geslani also noted that some Filipinos are working in oil fields, refineries, processing plants and terminals in different parts of Libya but not situated near the city of Benghazi, which is the center of the unrest among armed militias.

POEA data show that there are an estimated 12,000 OFWs in Libya. (HDT/Sunnex)

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