By Erma Edera
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said on Monday overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated from Libya are likely to be deployed to Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
“These countries are also in need of health workers such as nurses so we might consider sending them there,” Bello said in a press conference on Monday.
The labor chief said that Japan is among the alternative markets for the repatriated OFWs which needs 345,000 workers across 14 major industries.
“Japan needs 345,000 workers belonging to 14 industries including caregivers, agriculture workers, and medical workers,” Bello said.
Bello said the alert in Libya could be raised to Level 4 due to the escalating violence.
“It is possible that the Alert Level 3 in Libya will be upgraded to Alert Level 4, which would mean forced repatriation of Filipinos,” he said.
But he said that they are still coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs to assess the situation there.
Due to crisis Alert Level 3 in Libya, the Philippines had started implementing voluntary repatriation for Filipinos.
A quick response team composed of six personnel will be deployed in Tunisia to assist workers who will return home with or without the raising of the alert level in Libya.
“This will be a preventive move by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to send our team to Tunisia to help assist in repatriating our countrymen,” he said.
According to DOLE, there are 2,600 documented OFWs in Libya, majority of them are health workers.