Press Release
April 9, 2019

As military tension escalates in Tripoli

With thousands of migrant workers trapped in buildings, and civilians caught in the fighting between rival military forces, Sen. Nancy Binay called on government agencies to activate emergency hotlines where families of OFWs can call and be updated of the safety status of their relatives in Libya.

Binay added that an inter-agency team--composed of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration including representatives from employment agencies--is necessary so that relatives in the Philippines can be apprised of the situation and the repatriation plans of the government.

"Sa ganitong sitwasyon, napakalaking bagay ang komunikasyon para makontak ang ating mga kababayan sa Libya, at para na rin sa peace of mind ng kanilang mga pamilya na hindi alam kung ano ang kalagayan nila doon," she said.

According to Binay, government, with the help of recruitment agencies that have OFWs deployed in Libya, can put up hotlines and social media channels for easier and faster communication.

"DFA can setup an online info-center which will consolidate all Libya-related information and have it regularly updated. Yung mga agencies na nakapag-deploy ng OFWs sa Libya ay kailangan tumulong din sa pagbigay ng listahan sa DFA, at pag-contact ng kanilang mga migranteng nagtatrabaho sa iba't ibang facilities doon habang di pa pinuputol ang komunikasyon," the senator pointed out.

Binay wanted to know if agencies have provided insurance coverage for their workers, noting that it is their responsibility to give the DFA details and other pertinent information of OFWs including the company they're working in, contact number/s, addresses, email address/es, etc.


With the closure of the Mitiga Airport, the senator likewise urged manpower agencies to start planning for contingencies, including the possible evacuation of their deployed OFWs. She also called on OFW families to inform DFA of their relatives who are staying in Libya undocumented.

"Documented man o di-rehistrado, tulungan din po natin ang ating mga kababayan sa Libya, at isama natin sila sa contingency plans," Binay added.

There are more than 1,000 registered Filipinos in Libya, but about 90% of foreign/migrant workers in the country do not have proper travel documents, and seldom receive consular support.

The DFA has raised Alert Level 3 in several districts in Libya in the wake of escalations and violence that erupted on Monday. Embassy officials has urged Filipinos in Tripoli and nearby areas within a 100-kilometer radius of the capital to consider voluntary repatriation.

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