The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines said on Wednesday that Filipino workers in Libya "have the option to stay or volunteer to be repatriated if they fear for their lives, as the security situation in Libya remains fragile, indicating that "there are around 2,300 Filipinos working in Libya and most of them are already veterans of conflict and would rather stay."

The DFA has made changes on its two advisories for Filipinos living in Tripoli and outside Tripoli. Since 2019, Filipino workers living within the 100-kilometer radius of Tripoli were ordered to evacuate Libya (Alert Level 4). For those living outside Tripoli, Filipinos were just told to remain on alert and prepare for calls for possible evacuation (Alert Level 2). It also placed the entire country under single Crisis Alert Level 3, which is voluntary repatriation.

“The decision was made on the observation that, while the political and security conditions in Libya remain fragile, there have been significant improvements in the country since 2019,” the DFA said in a statement.

Also, the OFWs perceive the country as “safe and secure." The DFA said, according to Business Mirror website. 

It has reported that this perception of safety is grounded on the fact that most of the overseas Filipino workers remaining in Libya are veterans of conflict, "having survived the civil wars of 2011 and 2014-2020, and the fight with the Daesh that accompanied the civil wars, and have thus adapted to the instability in the country."

"The main concern of some workers were the pending labor issues they had with their employer. The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli reported that the pending labor issues have decreased from 411 in 2022 to 305 as of June 2023. The Embassy resolved these labor cases by going to job sites and holding dialogues among OFWs, their employers and Libyan authorities." The website said. 

It has added that there is no Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in Tripoli, and the Philippine consul general has been monitoring and responding to appeals of assistance from OFWs in Lebanon.

“In the absence of a resident Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in Tripoli, the DFA, will continue to monitor the situation and be responsible for responding to appeals for assistance of Filipinos working and residing in Libya." It said.