Filipinos should leave Libya while exit routes still passable, says DFA

By on June 6, 2014

Wikipedia photo
Wikipedia photo

MANILA -– Filipinos in Libya were asked once again by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to leave the strife-torn country while all exit points remain passable.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said Filipinos should join the Philippine government-organized repatriation and not wait for the security situation to further deteriorate.

Of the 13,122 Filipino residents and workers, only 51 have registered for repatriation.

In view of the worsening security situation in Libya, Crisis Alert Level 3 or Voluntary Repatriation Phase was enforced by Manila last May 29.

The alert level was raised a day after the visit of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, who traveled to the troubled North African state to check on the condition of the Filipinos and personally assess the Philippines’ contingency plan.

Libya, which has been without government for weeks, is currently grappling with civil war and Philippine officials there described the situation as “volatile.”

The crisis started when militia men stormed parliament in May 18 in the wake of an anti-government uprising that is fast spreading across the country.

Alert Level 3 encourages Filipinos -– mostly based in Tripoli and Benghazi — to leave as soon as possible.

Jose said the Philippine government will shoulder the travel cost back to the Philippines.

Filipinos in Libya, he added, are further advised to contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli to coordinate their repatriation.

In the event of an airport shutdown, Jose said the Philippine embassy will use alternative evacuation routes. These are Egypt and Tunisia by land and Malta and Greece by sea.