Increasing tension and fighting between rebel forces and the caretaker government in and around Tripoli in Libya forced 30 Filipino migrant workers to leave their homes and seek safer areas, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday, January 11.
Quoting Chargé d’Affaires Elmer Cato of Philippine Embassy in Tripoli, the DFA said over 400 Filipino nurses, hospital workers, university professors and oil firms workers are at risk as their workplace are near the tension in Tripoli.
The DFA is appealing to Filipinos to relocate and apply for the government’s repatriation program.
“Filipinos in Libya should relocate as soon as possible to avoid becoming collateral damage. They can also avail of the repatriation program of the Philippine Government,” Cato said in a statement.
In another statement, Cato cautioned Filipinos living near hostile areas in Tripoli, saying “many are at risk of becoming collateral damage from clashes on the ground involving heavy weapons and small arms and from airstrikes and shelling.”
“Since May when Tripoli and areas within a 100-kilometer radius of it were placed under Alert Level 4, the Embassy has been calling on Filipinos in areas near the fighting to relocate immediately if they would not want to avail themselves of repatriation,” Cato said.
Cato also noted that only 149 out of 1,000 Filipinos in Tripoli had applied for the government’s repatriation program. (Source: INQUIRER.net)