The Philippine government has officially lifted the ban on deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Libya for valid and existing job contracts following the improved security in the country.
The deployment ban has been lifted after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board made the recommendation by issuing Resolution No. 16. The document reduces the crisis alert level in Libya from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 2 (restriction phase).
DFA officials visited various job sites in the North African country last August 18 to evaluate the situation and determine whether it is safe again for workers to be there again.
Newly Hired OFWs Not Covered By Deployment Ban
Silvestre Bello III, Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and chairman of POEA Governing Board, specifically mentioned that newly hired OFWs are not covered by the lifting of the ban.
Sec. Bello said, “The deployment ban for newly hired OFWs shall be maintained until further notice.”
Requirements For Returning OFWs
POEA Governing Board Resolution (GBR) No. 16 emphasizes that only returning OFWs with valid and existing contracts will be allowed to return to Libya. OFWs will be required to submit important documents required by the Philippine Embassy such as:
1. Copies of existing contracts
2. Certification of salaries and benefits of the OFW
3. Letter from the employer requesting the return of the OFW
4. Security and safety guarantees through valid company certifications
5. Medical and life insurance coverage
6. Guarantee of immediate repatriation based on submitted contingency plans
POEA Governing Board implemented the suspension for processing and deployment of OFWs headed to Libya beginning May 30, 2014 because of security concerns. On June 13, 2014, however, POEA issued GBR No.9 which permitted processing and deployment for workers under specific skills categories. On July 22, 2014, GBR No.17 included additional categories.