Philippine gov't imposes total deployment ban to Tripoli anew
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government again imposed a total deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to the Libyan capital of Tripoli and nearby areas on Wednesday, April 10.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the decision was made when the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board met Wednesday afternoon, due to the worsening war in Libya.
"The POEA Governing Board in a meeting duly convened resolves and it is hereby resolved, after consulting with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), hereby enforces a deployment ban on the processing and deployment of all OFWs, including crew chains and shore leaves of Filipino seafarers, in Tripoli and areas within the 100-kilometer radius of the capital, as identified in the DFA Bulletin," Bello read the resolution in an interview with the DZMM.
The labor chief said the decision is effective immediately. A copy of the resolution has yet to be made available to the media.
The decision was made as the crisis alert in Libya was raised to Alert Level 3.
"So 'yung mga sa ibang lugar na-maintain yung Level 2. 'Yung ibang areas inakyat ang Level 3. (For some areas, Level 2 was retained. But for other areas, it was raised to Level 3)," Bello said.
In November 2018, DOLE enforced the total ban on processing and deployment of OFWs to Libya when it the crisis level was at Alert Level 3. In January, the ban was partially lifted when the crisis level was lowered to Alert Level 2.
Bello said Wednesday that apart from the deployment ban, voluntary repatriation is in place.
If the crisis alert reaches Level 4, forced repatriation will be ordered by the DOLE.
According to the labor chief, there are over 2,650 OFWs in Libya. He estimated that the number of Filipinos in the country may be at 5,000, if the undocumented workers are counted.
Bello, as labor chief, is the chairman of the POEA Governing Board.
Oil-rich Libya has been riven by chaos since the uprising in 2011 that killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi, as rival administrations and armed groups have battled for power. – Rappler.com