Gov't to evacuate more OFWs from Libya

Posted at 08/09/14 9:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Thirty-five more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Misrata in Libya have registered with the Philippine embassy for evacuation by sea.

A ship rented in Malta for about $1.8 million is expected to reach Libya this weekend.

Based on the number of Filipinos who have registered for evacuation by sea, only 1,036 will take the ship which has a capacity of 1,500 passengers.

Speaking to reporters, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose yesterday said the border with Egypt will be reopened to allow Filipinos to flee the strife-torn country.

“We have now contracted a ship so we will be using that,” he said. “I think after this if others would still like to leave, the border with Egypt will again be reopened. Egypt did not give any date.”

Jose said citizens of other countries have asked to be allowed to take the ship that the Philippine government had chartered.

“Actually there have been requests,” he said.

As of Aug. 5, the DFA said 436 OFWs registered in Benghazi and surrounding areas and 602 in Misrata and surrounding areas for evacuation by sea.

In Tripoli, 599 Filipinos will be evacuated by land after the border in Tunisia was reopened.

Currency exchange

Jose said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has opened a currency exchange facility to allow OFWs from Libya to exchange Libyan dinars for Philippine pesos.

OFWs and their Libyan-based family members will be allowed to exchange their Libyan dinars to Philippine pesos up to a maximum amount equivalent to P20,000 per eligible person.

At present, Libyan banknotes are not convertible to pesos.

The exchange may be done through the BSP head office, its regional offices and branches, as well as authorized agent banks.

OFWs and their family members must present documentary proof/s of their travel from Libya – original passport or original/certified true copy of the travel document issued by the Philippine embassy in Tripoli with exit stamp by Libyan authorities and/or authorities from other countries that served as exit points for repatriation. – Pia Lee-Brago, Mayen Jaymalin, Danny Dangcalan