PH-chartered vessel enroute to Tripoli to pick up repatriates
THE Philippine Embassy in Tripoli Thursday said that the chartered ship MV Ionian Queen is enroute to Tripoli after unloading in Crete at 8 p.m. of March 2 (Tripoli time) Filipinos from Benghazi and environs.
According to Philippine Ambassador Alejandrino Vicente, the Cyprus-flagged, Greek-owned vessel is scheduled to arrive in Tripoli on March 4 at 4 p.m. (local time) to fetch Filipinos there.
In Crete, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reception team is attending to Filipinos who arrive there, including food and accommodations. Arrangements are being made for their commercial flights to the Philippines.
There are now some 11,045 Filipinos who have exited Libya. Of these, some 1,625 have arrived in Manila. For yesterday alone, 767 Filipinos from Libya arrived in Manila, including those onboard two employer-chartered vessels.
Three more chartered flights have flown of Djerba Airport yesterday carrying a total of 491 passengers. These Filipinos will be brought to Dubai for their flights to Manila.
According to the Philippine Embassy in Cairo, the team is working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) there for assistance in booking flights for Filipinos who were abandoned by their employers.
Apart from the Embassies near Libya, the DFA teams and its other Embassies and Consulates General are in full relocation and repatriation mode, continuing their efforts to assist Filipinos transiting their areas on their way to the Philippines.
“The DFA is not without experience … We have a good working organization,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario said.
In Manila, the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) continues to attend to families of Filipinos in Libya, briefing them about the government’s measures being undertaken and in place.
There are 24-hour landline numbers available for families of Filipinos based in Libya, at 834-4580, 834-3245, 834-3240, and 834-4646. In cooperation with SMART Communications and Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Company, a 24-hour “Libreng Tawag” is also activated at the DFA, where the families of Filipinos can call their relatives in Libya.
In an effort to fast-track the issuance of passports of a number of Filipino repatriates who left Libya without passports in view of the volatile situation there, the DFA Office of Consular Affairs (DFA-OCA) has also designated special lanes for them in its main passport office, its 19 regional consular offices (RCOs) and its Passport Extension Office at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
DFA advised the Filipino repatriates from Libya to appear personally at these special lanes and present the most basic identification and the Travel Documents (TDs) issued to them by Philippine Foreign Service posts.