PH charters M/S Bridge to transport OFWs from Libya to Malta

Date Posted: August 11th, 2014 12:48 AM


Update on OFW repatriation due to Libyan crisis PH charters M/S Bridge to transport OFWs from Libya to Malta The Philippines has chartered a ship that will transport OFWs from Libya to Malta, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz announced yesterday. Baldoz, citing an update report of Welfare Officer Cynthia Lamban, said the contract for the ship’s charter was initially signed in Malta yesterday by a representative of the Philippine government and Alex Polidano of Ocean Marine Services Ltd. Welof Lamban and Labor Attache Ramon Tionloc are in Malta providing coordinative support to the Philippine Rapid Response Team (RRT) helping the repatration of OFWs from Libya. “The signing of the final contract for the charter of the M/S Bridge will sail for Benghazi to load OFW repatriate-passengers, then sail to Misrata to do the same before sailing back to Malta. The repatriation by ship is expected to be completed on 12 August. “I was informed that our RRT in Malta is exhausting all possible means to secure commercial flight bookings and accommodation for our OFWs while awaiting for their homeward travel to the Philippines. “Accommodation, particularly, poses a challenge to the RRT in Malta considering that the country at this time is at the peak of the tourist season,” explained Baldoz, who also said that a travel agency executive estimated that it may take two weeks to complete airline bookings on a commercial flight for a thousand passengers. Lamban said she is regularly in touch with Consul General Rico Fos of the Philippine Mission in Geneva to obtain updates on the DFA negotiations with the IOM for support to the repatration of OFWs from Libya. She also said several companies in Libya have been earnestly evacuating their Filipino workers out of Libya, citing Korean construction and auto giant Hyundai whose remaining 43 Filipino workers had left Malta and have arrived in the Philippines. On the same flight with the Hyundai workers were seven (7) OFWs who were working with Craddock Company. Other companies that have successfully evacuated their workers are Harouge, an oil operations firm, which evacuated 26 OFWs; Vaos Company, which had evacuated its workers who included 20 OFWs; and Ferroostal (formerly MAN) Company, which had evacuated its workers including another 20 OFWs. Baldoz assured OFWs and their families that government officials and personnel are onsite to assist in the repatriation. “We have RRT personnel in Malta led by Consul General Leila Lora-Santos who are providing assistance at the Malta airport of Luqa, at the Valleta seaport, and at the hotels,” said Baldoz, who also thanked Filipino priest Fr. Aldrin Alvarado who had accommodated more than 50 OFWs in his chapel in Malta. END

Created Aug 26th 2014, 15:01


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