Baldoz creates Libya Crisis Quick Response Team Following the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Governing Board’s decision to impose a total ban on the deployment of Filipino overseas workers to Libya due to the worsening security situation in that country, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda-Dimapilis yesterday signed an order, Administrative Order No. 262, Series of 2014, creating a Libya Crisis Quick Response Team within the DOLE to serve as a focal group for purposes of coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs and concerned Philippine Overseas Labor Office on the matter of securing the safety and welfare of OFWs who may be affected by the current Libyan situation. “I have created this quick response team in view of the continuing deterioration of the political and security situation in Libya as indicated by the decision of the Department of Foreign Affairs to raise the crisis alert level status for Libya from Crisis Alert Level 2 (Restriction Phase) to Crisis Alert Level 3 (Voluntary Repatriation Phase),” said Baldoz. The Libya Crisis Quick Response Team is tasked to closely monitor and assess the situation of Filipino workers in Libya. It is also tasked to submit regular reports and recommendations to the Secretary through the Office of the Undersecretary for Employment. The DOLE’s International Labor Affairs Bureau is tasked to provide secretariat services to the team, while the POEA, OWWA, and NRCO are tasked to lend operational, administrative, and other technical support requirements, as well as staff if necessary. “Members of the Libyan Crisis Quick Response Team are instructed to prepare for possible deployment to Libya as augmentation team should the need arises,” said Baldoz. POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac heads the quick response team as chairperson, while the following are its members: Labor Attaches Ramon Tionloc (POEA); Romulo Carlos Salud (NCR); David Des Dicang (OSEC); Bernardino Julve (OSEC); Jeffrey Cortazar (NRCO); Nasser Munder (OSEC); and Merriam Cuasay (OSEC); Director Albert Valenciano (OWWA); Edwynpole Divinagracia (ILAB); Oscar Rosal (PS); Apolonio Alvarez, Jr. (NCR); and Eduardo Mendoza (OWWA). Director Nicon F. Fameronag of the Labor Communications Office and Charmaine dela Cruz of ILAB compose the Libyan Crisis Quick Response Team’s communications team. There are an estimated 12,000 OFWs in Libya–4,000 permanent residents, 4,000 balik-manggagawa or re-hires, and 4,000 new hires. Based on POEA deployment records, total deployment of new hires to Libya increased from 281 in 2012 to 4,093 in 2013. In terms of deployment, Libya has an almost equal number of professional workers, technical and related workers, production and transport equipment workers, and laborers. END

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