Filipino Workers allowed to Return to Libya

The Governing Board (GB) of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has issued a resolution allowing the processing and deployment of returning overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) to Libya.

Based on GB Resolution No. 1, series of 2019, which was approved on January 25 and released to the media on Tuesday, the decision was issued after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), with the concurrence of the National Security Council, lowered the Crisis Alert Level in Libya from Alert Level 3 (Voluntary Repatriation Phase) to Level 2 (Restriction Phase).

However, the POEA noted that the ban on the deployment of new hires still stands.

“The lifting of deployment ban does not include newly-hired workers and seafarers,” it added.

Earlier, the Overseas Filipino Workers Organization – Benghazi has appealed to the government to exclude professionals, such as engineers, company workers, nurses and teachers, from the travel ban to Libya.

In November last year, the POEA Board issued Resolution No. 8 imposing a total deployment ban on the processing and deployment of newly-hired workers.

The move came two months after the DFA raised Alert Level 3 in Libya due to the escalation of violence there. Under Alert Level 3, the POEA imposes an automatic deployment ban.

Likewise included are crew change and shore leave of Filipino seafarers to Libya.

The POEA, however, allowed the processing and deployment of returning workers under specified skill categories but subject to specific conditions.

The Board consists of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, as chairman; POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia as vice chairman; and board members Estrella Hizon, Alexander Asuncion, and Felix Oca.

(Source: Philippine Government)

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