Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mandatory Evacuation of OFWs in Libya Ordered

The escalating political tension in Libya urged the Philippine government to raise the alert level in this Middle Eastern country to 4. This alert level demands mandatory evacuation and repatriation of Filipinos and the cost will be shouldered by the government.

According to the data from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), an estimate of 1,600 Filipinos are still in Tripoli and other cities in Libya. Many of them are working as nurses and medical workers. The sad news is that out of this number, only 91 Filipinos expressed their wiliness to be repatriated. 

To prepare for the repatriation, DFA Undersecretary Esteban Conejos said that the International Organization for Migrants has contracted a ship that can accommodate up to 400 Filipinos and bring them from Tripoli to Alexandria. Commercial flights to the Philippines are available once they are in Alexandria. The Philippine government plans to charter another aircraft for the safe return of Filipinos in Libya to the Philippines.

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