By Roy Mabasa
Libya is now under Alert Level III or voluntary repatriation for those Filipinos who are still in that country, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.
The DFA raised the alert status following days of factional fighting and escalating violence that threatens the safety and security of more or less 3,500 Filipinos in Libya.
Under Alert Level III, all Filipinos in Libya are enjoined to start preparations for evacuation and all those with valid employment contracts who are currently on vacation in the Philippines will not be allowed to return.
Rapid response teams are now placed on standby to possibly assist the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli in evacuating the 1,800 Filipinos in the capital who have been caught in the middle of the factional fighting that has been escalating since last week.
The Embassy earlier advised the Filipino community to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary movement due to mounting violence and criminality.
Those who may require assistance are directed to immediately contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli at: +218 91 824 4208 and +218 94 454 1283.
Next of kin in the Philippines may contact the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs at (+632) 834-4996 and [email protected] during office hours and DFA Action Center +632 834-3333 or 834-4997 after office hours.