Sec Del Rosario arrives in Manila from Libya

SECRETARY of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario arrived from Libya Tuesday afternoon onboard an Emirates Airlines flight after he and a DFA team brought to safety some 400 Filipinos Sunday.

Secretary del Rosario went to Tunisia on Saturday morning to personally oversee the repatriation operations to evacuate Filipino nationals in Libya. He then proceeded by plane to Djerba, which is the city nearest to the Libyan border.

On Sunday morning, Secretary del Rosario, Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos, Jr , an embassy officer and driver traveled overland to Libya.

After reaching the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli and visiting the embassy’s relocation site, he gathered the Filipinos awaiting repatriation and quickly organized a convoy of 40 vans and buses to bring some 400 OFWs to the Tunisian border and safety before nightfall .

On the phone from Djerba, Tunisia, Secretary del Rosario said “We’re on top of the situation in Libya. We’re fully deployed and we have a strategy.”

The Philippine Embassy in Greece chartered a ship to repatriate Filipinos awaiting repatriation in the port city of Benghazi in northeastern Libya.

The vessel “Ionian Queen” is due to arrive in Benghazi today at 9:00 a.m. local time (2:00 p.m., Manila time), and will transport the OFWs to the island of Crete, where a DFA crisis team is awaiting them.

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 the way to the Philippines.

The DFA Crisis Teams are also arranging chartered flights to fly the OFW’s to Manila.

According to the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) as of Tuesday afternoon, some 2,324 Filipino nationals have safely exited Libya and a total of 473 OFWs have arrived safely in Manila.

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