Gov’t to mount 2nd attempt to evacuate Filipinos from Libya | Global News

Gov’t to mount 2nd attempt to evacuate Filipinos from Libya

The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli said on Sunday it would try again to gather together Filipino migrant workers in the Libyan capital and put them on a Benghazi-bound boat chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, the embassy said Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis had joined the mission making the rounds of hospitals and other workplaces employing Philippine nationals.


On Saturday, “the team was unable to pick up some OFWs who had renewed their interest in being repatriated to Manila because of the heavy fighting en route to their destination (the Tripoli ferry terminal),” said Raul Hernandez, the DFA spokesperson.

But “the security situation permitting, the embassy team will try again today (Sunday),” Hernandez said.


Ninety-one OFWs had expressed interest in availing themselves of the government-funded repatriation program.

Only 35, however, managed to flee Tripoli on Friday on an IOM-chartered ferry.

The boat sailed from Tripoli to Benghazi, not Alexandria in Egypt, as reported earlier by the DFA.

From Benghazi, the OFWs traveled by land to the Egyptian border where they were met by personnel from the Philippine Embassy in Cairo and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa).

From Cairo, the OFWs will take commercial flights to Manila.

As for the OFWs who could not be brought to the ferry terminal because of the heavy fighting, “the embassy team will try to fetch them later for the second boat trip that is being arranged by the IOM,” Hernandez said.

Last week, the DFA said the National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya had arranged for the “safe passage” to the Tripoli port for 91 Filipino evacuees.


The NTC “helped our overseas Filipino workers secure exit passes, as well as provided them with security escorts” on their way to the Tripoli port… The IOM will shoulder the OFWs’ travel costs from Libya to Egypt. For its part, the Philippine government will take care of the OFWs’ plane fare from Cairo to Manila,” Hernandez said.

He quoted Seguis as saying that “clashes are ongoing in Tripoli” and that “from the embassy, machine-gun fire and explosions can still be heard.”

It was still “too dangerous to go out,” Seguis warned the OFWs.

Meanwhile, the DFA thanked the NTC for “keeping Filipinos and their families in Libya safe and for the hospitality extended to them throughout the conflict.”

In a statement, the DFA said the Philippines “welcomes the imminent resolution of the conflict in Libya.”

“The Philippines supports a peaceful transition in Libya in order for normalcy to return to the country, and looks forward to working with the Libyan people in pursuing peace and stability,” it said.

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TAGS: Department of Foreign Affairs, Filipino migrant workers, Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Libya, Philippine Embassy, Tripoli
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