By ROY C. MABASA
The Philippine government has rejected the appeal of Libya to lift the existing ban on the deployment of Filipino workers, citing safety and security concerns and money remittances issue.
“Under the present Alert Level 2, for the safety of all parties, the deployment of new workers to Libya is still not possible,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a public advisory issued over the weekend.
In the advisory, the DFA said that based on actual feedback from the remaining Filipino workers in Libya, “the required infrastructure and mechanisms for remitting their hard salaries are still in the offing.”
“Our OFWs in Libya face two natural difficulties: their safety and security, and their ability to send their earnings back to the Philippines,” the foreign affairs department said.
It added that foreign currency is scarce in Libya, and in the competition for the scarce resource, “foreign workers lose out to uncontrollable economic and political forces.”
The DFA warned prospective workers to carefully scrutinize private offers for employment in Libya, saying that these offers “circumvent the safety features set up by the Philippines through so-called backdoor deployment schemes.”
Under such schemes, workers are told to travel first as tourists to other Asian cities to secure their Libyan working visa there.
“This is illegal recruitment, which is frowned upon by the Libyan government,” the DFA said.
Moreover, the foreign affairs office advised prospective applicants who wish to be employed in Libya to follow government regulations and pass through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
The DFA’s advisory came following the appeal of the Libyan for the Philippines to conduct a reevaluation of the security situation in their country and eventually lift the ban for the hiring of Filipino workers.
Libyan Embassy Charge d’ Affaires Ahmed Eddeb pointed out that the situation in Libya now has already normalized and they are in need of professional Filipino workers, particularly in the medical and oilfield sectors.
“We care about the Filipino people. We greatly value the remarkable effort extended by them, their contributions to the Libyan economy, either in the oilfield or in the humanitarian assistance they provide in hospitals and clinics,” the Libyan official told reporters.