Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) caught in the middle of armed conflict in Libya can now leave the country even without exit visas, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said on Friday.
According to Baldoz, Labor Attaché to Tripoli Nasser Mustafa reported that Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Leo Cacdac had said exit visa is no longer a problem for the OFWs in war-torn Libya.
“This also means that Filipino workers who wish to avail of the mandatory repatriation need not beg with their employers to allow them to leave Libya,” she said.
The report also disclosed that Dr. Abdulrazzaq Jum’a Eltamtam, the Undersecretary of the Libyan Ministry of Labor and Retraining, gave the authority to allow the exit of the OFWs from Libya through Tunisia.
Baldoz, meanwhile, cited reports from Mustafa that security continues to deteriorate in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
“The Libyan Civil Aviation Authority has announced the closure of Libyan airspace over western Libya, beginning 28 July, and lasting until the end of the upcoming Eid holidays. [But] two airports, namely, Labraq and Tobruk, remain open,” the reports said.
According to Mustafa, there are OFWs who have registered for the mandatory repatriation but are not staying in the Filipino Workers Resource Center.
His reports showed that of 722 OFWs, 549 had left Libya for the Philippines.