Embassy in Libya to repatriate more OFWs

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By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter

THE PHILIPPINE Embassy in Libya will send home another batch of Filipino migrants affected by the fighting in Tripoli, bringing the total repatriated overseas to 84.

The Embassy reported 11 Filipinos have sought its repatriation offer, with the help of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

“The Philippine Embassy in Libya (is) getting ready to repatriate another 11 Filipinos who requested the assistance of DFA and DoLE in leaving Tripoli,” recently appointed Ambassador Elmer G. Cato said in a social media post, Wednesday evening.

“The latest batch will bring to 84 the total number of kababayan repatriated from Libya since crisis began in April.”

The Embassy, for its part, appealed anew to Filipinos in Tripoli and those living within its 100-kilometer radius as well as their families in the Philippines to avail themselves of the Embassy’s repatriation assistance.

Filipino migrants had also been reminded to move to safer locations or seek refuge in the Embassy.

“The members of the Filipino Community in Tripoli are advised to stay vigilant and to take the necessary precautions in view of the reported intense artillery and heavy weapons exchanges and air-strikes in the outskirts of the capital,” Mr. Cato said in a separate post.

According to the Embassy, there are more than 1,000 Filipinos affected by the conflict, due to attempts to retake the capital from the United Nations-recognized government.

Mr. Cato had earlier said that some Filipinos have chosen to stay in Tripoli despite the clashes, instead of relying on the livelihood assistance the government is expected to provide upon repatriation.

“We will not be able to convince them to go home unless we offer them more than just a one-way ticket, P10,000 and promises of jobs, livelihood and other assistance. We did that in 2011 and 2014. Many believed us then and went home. But the promised jobs weren’t there,” Mr. Cato said in a June 9 post.