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Phl works hard to repatriate 13,000 Filipinos from Libya
"The Department of Foreign Affairs is doing its best. Rapid response teams have been sent to all embassies of the Philippines in the Middle East," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday.
Among the major complaints of OFWs in Libya is safety during travel, with many fearing being kidnapped or taken hostage.
Coloma said the government recognizes the concerns of OFWs in Libya, and that is why it is working hard to bring them out of harm’s way.
Due to the grave security situation there, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has issued Alert Level No. 4, according to Coloma.
The Palace official said the Philippine government had faced a similar situation before, when it hired a ship to ferry Filipino workers from a conflict area in the Middle East.
Embassy officials face mounting challenges in bringing OFWs from conflict zones because they have to transport them to safe areas by land, he said, noting that arranging for transportation is very difficult in danger zones.
The Philippine government is also working with other governments to evacuate OFWs in Libya, he said.
Coloma said Philippine embassies normally have 25 to 30 personnel and they could hardly accommodate the repatriation of 13,000 Filipinos in Libya.