Voluntary repatriation in entire Libya — DFA

August 9, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 466 views

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that the entire Libya has been placed under a single Crisis Alert Level 3 or Voluntary Repatriation after seeing improvements in the political and security situation in the Arab country.

A public advisory posted at the DFA website said “the decision was made on the observation that, while the political and security conditions in Libya remain fragile, there have been significant improvements in the country since 2019.”

In 2019, the DFA placed Tripoli and areas within 100-kilometer radius under Crisis Alert Level or 4 Mandatory Repatriation] and on areas outside the 100-kilometer radius (CAL 2 or Restricted Phase.

Despite the political divide between the east and the west, Libya is currently not under a full-blown external attack from both sides, the DFA noted.

It added conflicts in Libya, since 2019, are localized, sporadic, and targeted at combatants, which are not features of a large-scale civil conflict, but rather of low-intensity conflicts.

Moreover, there are ongoing efforts, primarily under the auspices of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, to unite the two governments in Libya through the conduct of elections, and unify and strengthen the country’s security apparatus.

The overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Libya, currently at around 2,300, perceive the country as safe and secure.

This perception of safety is grounded on the fact that most of the OFWs remaining in Libya are veterans of conflict, having survived the civil wars of 2011 and 2014-2020, and the fight with the Daesh that accompanied the civil wars, and have thus adapted to the instability in the country.

The OFWs in Libya are more concerned instead with pending labor issues, which decreased from 411 in 2022 to 305 as of June 2023. The resolution of these labor cases may be attributed to the Philippine Embassy in Libya’s conduct of job site visits and labor dialogues, and representations with companies and relevant government agencies.

Even with the transfer last month of Assistance-to-Nationals functions for OFWs to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the DFA reaffirmed that, in the absence of a resident Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in Tripoli, the DFA, will continue to monitor the situation and be responsible for responding to appeals for assistance of Filipinos working and residing in Libya.

The DFA therefore views the updated Crisis Alert Level 3 imposed on Libya as an opportunity for the country to resolve the pending labor issues of the remaining OFWs, which would consequently bring about the condition for the gradual relaxation of the deployment ban through selective deployment.