Group slams DFA’s ‘deadline’ on OFWs evacuation,repatration in Libya

A GLOBAL alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Friday criticized the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for setting a “deadline” for the evacuation and repatriation in Libya when only six percent (6%) of 26,000 Filipinos have arrived in Manila.

Migrante International  said  setting a deadline could be deadly for the remaining Filipinos in Libya.” Ano ang balak nila sa mga natitira pang mga kababayan natin doon, iwanan na lang? So long, farewell and good luck?,” said Martinez.

Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson,  said there are at least 15,000 more who are awaiting rescue.

He said  majority of the repatriated OFWs were brought back to Manila by their employers and recruitment agencies. “Even DFA Acting Sec. del Rosario’s ‘roadshow in the desert’ did not result in massive repatriation. Umuwi pa rin naman siya dito mag-isa at walang kasama ni isang OFW. So why is the DFA setting a deadline now? Do they feel that they have done enough?

Martinez particularly pointed out the plight of Filipina nurses in Libya who are still in Libya hospitals to perform their duties, as well as household domestic workers who may not have the same benefits as company-based OFWs who have been evacuated en masse by their employers and agencies.

“It is the government’s full responsibility to ensure the safe evacuation and repatriation of our OFWs in times of war, strife, famine and calamities. This is entrenched in the Magna Carta for Migrant Workers or RA 10022. The DFA and the Philippine government have no right or reason setting a deadline when there are Filipinos still in serious danger in Libya,” he said.-D’Jay Lazaro

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