MORE than three in every five overseas Filipino workers who have returned from Libya are still looking for employment opportunities abroad, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said this was the trend expressed by OFWs in their request for assistance instead of staying in the country.

Of the 2,736 OFWs assisted by DOLE, 1,710 or 63 percent has asked for overseas job assistance.

This is in contrast to the estimated 930 returning OFWs, or 34 percent, that asked for assistance to be employed locally, according to Baldoz.

At 1,684, the second highest number of requests is for transportation assistance, mostly by OFWs going back to their provinces; followed by requests for livelihood assistance at 1,346, or 49 percent.

Other assistance requested and the number of repatriates who requested them are: scholarship or training, 694 (25 percent); legal assistance, 541 (20 percent); temporary accommodation, 406 (20 percent); medical assistance, 250 (nine percent); and stress debriefing/counseling, 167 (six percent).

Overall, Baldoz noted that a total of 8,064 assistance of various types have already been provided to the 2,736 repatriated OFWs.

Of the OFWs assisted, a total of 2,027 are active members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, while 615 are not. The remaining 94 have no record available.

Since July 20, the Philippine government has implemented a mandatory repatriation program after raising Crisis Alert Level 4 in Libya.

DOLE has since prepared the Assist WELL Program, which seeks to address the Welfare, Employment, Livelihood, and Legal needs of OFWs repatriated from Libya to ensure their smooth and effective reintegration. – Gerard Naval Source:

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