DoLE orders deployment ban on Libya, prepares repatriation team

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THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) is preparing to send a team for the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in violence-affected areas of Libya, as it ordered a total deployment ban of OFWs to that state.

On Wednesday, Labor Chief Silvestre H. Bello III told reporters in a press briefing that DoLE is selecting members of an augmentation team that will be sent to Libya, to include three administrative staff (AS) members. This, after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday raised the crisis alert status of Libya from Level 2 to Level 3 for Tripoli and areas within its 100-kilometer radius.

“We are in the process of selecting the three AS as part of augmentation team….Baka dadagdagan namin depende sa situation(It could be more depending on the situation),” Mr. Bello said.

In a statement on Wednesday, DoLE said it had ordered a total deployment ban to Libya upon the advice of the DFA.

The labor department said its team will be sent to Libya this week.

“Also, we are prepared for any exigency of forced repatriation if the situation deteriorates,” Mr. Bello said, adding that OFWs who wish to be repatriated will also be given a reintegration assistance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

There are an estimated 2,600 OFWs in Libya. — Gillian M. Cortez