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OFW Mop-up Operation in Libya
« on: March 08, 2011, 11:07:34 AM »
By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, March 7 (PNA) -- Philippine government officials will seek out every Filipino still inside teetering Libya as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday declared that government’s repatriation program this week focuses on “mop-up operations” and raised its alert level on the Libyan situation to “practically Level 4.”

In a joint briefing with three other government agencies involved in the repatriation program out of the north African country, DFA Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said that in the past two weeks, some 12,000 of the estimated 26,000 Filipinos in Libya have exited, though just over 4,000 have actually arrived in the Philippines.

Those remaining in Libya include doctors, nurses and other medical professionals governed by the Hippocratic oath with contracts that do not allow them leaves in time of crisis such as what’s now gripping Libya. said Seguis.

Seguis believes the rest are those who are unable to reach exit points or are unwilling to leave their jobs for fear they might lose end-of-service benefits by absconding.

Of the qualified returnees, 2,523 have been given cash grants of P10,000 each, or more than P25 million, according to Carmelita Dimzon, administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

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