TRIPOLI—The Philippines has welcomed the assurance given by authorities in Libya that the salary and other concerns of hundreds of Filipino nurses and other hospital workers there are being addressed.
In a statement issued ahead of the visit to Manila of Libyan Health Minister Ahmed Mohamed Omar, the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli said it is hopeful that problems encountered by Filipinos working in most government hospitals and in some private clinics across Libya would soon be resolved.
“We welcome the assurances given to us by the Libyan government that the concerns that our nurses and hospital workers asked us to bring to their attention are being acted upon,” Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Elmer G. Cato said.
These concerns include not only delays in the remittance of salaries and benefits but also delays and in some cases even nonpayment of salaries of the more than 1,000 Filipino nurses and hospital workers in Libya.
Chargé d’Affaires Cato said Minister Omar, who will be in Manila from 19 to 20 August, assured him that steps are being taken to address the concerns that the Embassy first brought to his attention in May. The Minister said he is coordinating closely with the Office of the Prime Minister and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Finance in resolving the issues.
Minister Omar said a comprehensive review of existing policies in the payment and remittance of salaries and benefits of expatriate health workers is now ongoing and a focal person has been designated to work closely with the Embassy in resolving monetary claims of Filipino hospital workers.
Minister Omar also said representations have been made with the Central Bank of Libya to allow Filipino and other expatriate nurses and hospital workers to remit as much as 70 percent of their salaries.
He said the Libyan government is also planning to adjust the salaries of foreign hospital workers to ensure that they will continue to get the original dollar equivalent indicated in their employment contracts. (Philippine Embassy in Tripoli)