Only 20% of 4,000 OFWs in Libya want to return home–Bello
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday said very few overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Tripoli, Libya have expressed desire to return to the Philippines despite the ongoing conflict.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that out of the 4,000 Filipinos living and working in Tripoli, only 20 percent or 800 were willing to return home despite the repatriation assistance being offered by DOLE.
“Diyan sa 4,000 na yan, siguro malaki na yung 20 percent na gustong umuwi [Out of the 4,000, maybe it’s just 20 percent of them are willing to go home],” Bello said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990 AM on Wednesday.
Despite this, he said that the department would provide its “full assistance” to the workers who wished to be repatriated.
“Depende kung anong available na air transportation, pwedeng mag-charter, pwedeng mag commercial flight [It depends on what air transportation is available, probably we could charter a flight or we could take the commercial flight],” Bello said.
“Ang importante, we will help them. We will give full assistance for their repatriation if that is their desire [What is important is that we will help them],” he added, citing that the flight going back to Manila is free of charge.
On Monday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. declared Tripoli and its “adjacent districts plus a 100-kilometer radius” under alert level 3.
READ: DFA raises alert level 3 in Tripoli, several districts in Libya
But Bello earlier said that he has not yet received formal advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) regarding the increase of alert level.
Once DOLE received this from DFA, Bello said that a deployment ban on overseas workers may be implemented. /jpv
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