MANILA—An official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the agency is looking to review the existing deployment ban on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Libya.
According to Undersecretary Dominador Say, the verification is needed since there is an exiting ban on the deployment of Filipino workers in the host country.
“Ang gusto ko nga ipareview sana, pero hindi pa naman ito formal or official. Kasi we have an existing moratorium on sending our OFWs sa Libya,” he said.
Say noted that the proposal is in response to the statement of some Libyan employers, who visited the DOLE recently that some areas in the said country particularly in the oil fields are now safe.
“Dahil according to Libyan nationals mismo, sabi nila may mga portions ng Libya na tahimik na. Like the oil fields protected by the military naman. Pero hindi pa rin tayo nakakapagdeploy. Eh kailangan nila,” the DOLE official said.
“I think three weeks ago may pumunta dito na Libyan. Gusto ng mga oil companies na ito ng Filipino workers. But sabi ko nga, my hands are tied. Dahil may ban pa tayo. But he kept telling me that as far as the oil industry is concerned, safe kasi Libyan military ang nagbabantay,” Say added.
Asked on how many Filipinos needed by Libyan employers, he said, “Hindi nila masabi pero hundreds ang kailangan. Filipino (Engineers) ang hinahanap nila.”
“Well they were telling me, specifically itong nakipagkita sa akin sa Davao, they were telling me, the work attitude of Filipinos naiiba. Tapos pangalwa, yung English facility nila. Yung English skill. Tapos iyon nga yung work attitude na kahit sobra na sa oras, hindi tayo nagbibilang,” Say added.
He noted that the employers are from the private sector.
“Private (sector)…supplier sila ng oil companies. At ang hinihingi sa kanila ng oil companies na iyan, specifically pinapangalanan is Filipinos. Gusto nilang kunin,” the DOLE official added.
In September 2016, the POEA has lifted the ban on the processing and deployment of returning Filipino workers with valid and existing contracts to Libya.
But, the deployment ban for newly hired OFWs is still in effect.