01/03/2011: Advisory to the Families of OFWs in Libya
Philippine Consulate General
447 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94108
415-433-6666 ext. 313 (public information section)
March 1, 2011
Based on the Press Release issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs on February 25, 2011, available at http://dfa.gov.ph/main/index.php/public-advisory/2539-advisory-of-the-department-of-foreign-affairs-to-families-of-ofws-in-libya
ADVISORY TO THE FAMILIES OF OFWS IN LIBYA
In view of the escalating violence and widespread insecurity in Libya, the Department of Foreign Affairs is on a full relocation and repatriation mode. No less than Secretary Albert del Rosario led in overseeing the evacuation of 550 Filipinos from Tripoli, Libya to Djerba, Tunisia on February 27.
The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli has activated relocation centers in Tripoli and Benghazi for OFWs to stay in, unless they feel safe where they are, in which case they should remain there until further notice.
The OFWs in the relocation centers will be moved to exit points where they will be transported out of Libya.
1. Shipping arrangements have been made to take out Filipinos in Benghazi to the safe haven of Crete, and those in Tripoli to the safe haven of Malta, where they will be flown to locations where commercial flights to Manila are available.
2. Alternative land routes have been established out of Libya. For those in Tripoli and environs, an outpost is being set up on the border of Tunisia. For those in the Benghazi area their land route would be through the outpost in As Sallum, a border town of Egypt.
3. Embassy personnel are posted in these outposts to provide necessary assistance.
INITIATIVES IN PLACE
1. OFWs are enjoined to avail of employer-organized repatriation.
2. For others, relocation sites have been activated: the Philippine School and the Filipino Workers Resource Center in Tripoli and the two Philippine Schools in Benghazi.
3. An increasing number of personnel are deployed and are assisting in Libya, particularly at the border crossings of Tunisia and Egypt.
4. The President has allotted an initial amount of over a hundred million pesos ($2.3 million) for the repatriation program and emergency services for Filipino nationals.
5. The assistance of the International Organization for Migration, as well as other countries, has been enlisted.
ASSISTANCE EXTENDED TO FAMILIES
- In cooperation with SMART, a 24-hour "Libreng tawag" is available at the DFA for families of OFWs to talk directly to relatives in Libya.
- A crisis management center has been set-up, with a 24-hour hotline number (834-4580) at the DFA, for families of OFWs to get information about their relatives in Libya.
- Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario sent off on February 28 a total of 180 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at the Djerba International Airport in Tunisia. The OFWs were flown to Dubai where officials from the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai have made arrangements for them to go on commercial flights to Manila.
- Another batch of OFWs at Djerba is waiting for the next chartered flight to Dubai.
- This was in addition to the evacuation of 550 Filipinos from Tripoli to Djerba on February 27.
- On February 26, the Philippine Embassy in Madrid welcomed 15 Filipino workers who were evacuated from Libya and airlifted to Spain by their employers onboard a chartered flight by the Spanish oil company Repsol.
- On February 25, the Philippine Embassy in Paris met and assisted 98 Filipino workers evacuated from Libya through the efforts of their employer Vinvi Corporation-OEA Grand projects.
The DFA is fully committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of our overseas workers in Libya. For updates, please visit www.dfa.gov.ph