MANILA— Libya Embassy to Manila has called on the Philippine government to re-evaluate its alert level imposed in the country saying they need to hire more professionals for hospitals and oil companies.
In a press conference Thursday, Libyan Charge d’Affairs to Manila Ahmed Eddeb said situation in the state has now improved.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has maintained Crisis Alert Level 2 in Libya.
“We care about the Filipino people. We greatly value their contribution to the Libyan economy either in the oil fields or in humanitarian assistance in hospitals and clinics. If there’s a risk for them, we would not (ask) for the lifting of the ban,” Eddeb told reporters.
He added that Libyan employers are particularly seeking Filipino workers for their excellent work ethics, dedication and competence.
According to the Libyan official, before the 2011 uprising that led to the ouster and death of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, there were around 26,000 Filipino workers in the country.
This dwindled down to 3,000 in 2017 following a mass repatriation of at least 10,000 Filipinos in 2011, and another 4,000 workers when a civil war broke out in 2014.
On Sept. 2, 2017, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. approved the lowering of the crisis alert level for Libya from 4 to 2.
Alert level 4 calls for mandatory repatriation while Level 2 is only a restriction phase.
The recommnedation was made by a Security Assessment Team after an evaluation was conducted from Aug. 9 to 13 in Tripoli, Libya.
According to the DFA, Alert Level 2 is issued if there are threats to the life, security and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbances, instability, and/or external threat.
While new labor deployment is still prohibited, DFA earlier said overseas Filipinos with valid and existing contracts are guaranteed will be allowed to return to Libya if they so desire.
Eddeb reiterated that the situation in Libya has improved since the last assessment in 2016.
“We need more than 26,000 Filipino workers to (help) repair, rebuild and rehabilitate due to lots of destruction,” he said.
“We did our best in convincing officials of the Philippines to try to lift the ban totally. They are still very worried about the safety of workers. But our main request is just try to re-evaluate the security situation in Libya. We see the situation as normal now,” Eddeb added.