Sen. Binay to gov’t agencies: Activate communication lines for OFWs in Libya
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay urged various government agencies on Tuesday to activate emergency hotlines and online portals where families and realtives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Libya can call or log in to get updates on the safety status of their relatives.
Binay issued the call after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) declared several districts in Libya under alert level 3 in view of the escalating violence there.
“Sa ganitong sitwasyon, napakalaking bagay ang komunikasyon para makontak ang ating mga kababayan sa Libya, at para na rin sa peace of mind ng kanilang mga pamilya na hindi alam kung ano ang kalagayan nila doon,” Binay said in a statement.
(During this situation, communication is a big help in order for us to contact our fellow citizen based in Libya, and also for the peace of mind of their families who do not have any information on the situation of their loved ones there.)
An inter-agency team — composed of the DFA, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) representatives — should also be established to inform relatives of the OFWs in Libya about the situation and repatriation plans of the government, Binay said.
The senator said the DFA can set up an “online info-center” which can consolidate all Libya-related information, while the recruitment agencies that deployed OFWs in Libya could help in getting in touch with them.
Binay also urged manpower agencies to set up contingency plans, including the possible evacuation of their deployed OFWs. She also called on the families of OFW to inform DFA of their relatives who are staying in Libya undocumented.
“Documented man o di-rehistrado, tulungan din po natin ang ating mga kababayan sa Libya, at isama natin sila sa contingency plans,” she said.
(Whether documented or not registered, let us also help our [undocumented] countrymen in Libya and include them in the contingency plans.)
She noted that there are more than 1,000 registered Filipinos in Libya, but about 90 percent of foreign workers in the country do not have proper travel or employment documents and seldom receive consular support. /jpv
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