MANILA, March 12, 2015—A Catholic bishop has appealed for a “more determined” government effort not only in stopping Filipinos from taking jobs in conflict-hit areas but also in repatriating them, following the abduction by armed men of four Filipino workers in Libya.
While the government imposed a ban on the deployment of Filipinos to Libya and has been repatriating those who wish leave the war-torn country, Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said there may be a need for a stricter measure to ensure the safety of the overseas Filipino workers.
“My appeal is for a more determined effort to stop Filipinos from taking jobs in conflict zones and to have those caught in the conflict to be brought home,” said Santos, who heads the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
The bishop also called on OFWs to avoid going to “hotspots” in the Middle East and prioritize their safety over better pay.
“While the jobs there offer huge pay they come at the cost of life and safety,” Santos said.
The prelate also asked the faithful to pray for the safety and immediate release of the abducted Filipinos, which according to the Department of Foreign Affairs, were among the nine foreigners seized by gunmen at an oil field in Central Libya on March 6.
“I ask all to join us in praying for the safety of the abducted Filipinos and for their immediate release,” he said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)