Manila: The foreign affairs department spurned a government invitation for the return of overseas Filipino workers to Libya, a TV report said.

The Philippine government has not yet lifted its no-deployment policy on Libya, Ambassador Raul Hernandez, spokesman of the foreign affairs department, said in a TV interview.

It was in response to Abdul Hadi Lahweej, Libya's undersecretary for expatriates, immigrants and refugee affairs, who said in a press conference on Monday that clashes occur only in rebel-dominated places in Libya.

"We are taking care of them (the OFWs)," Lahweej gave assurance to the Philippine governmen in the same conference.

At the same time, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Philippines still recognised Muammar Gaddafi as Libya's leader.

"We continue to recognise the Libyan government as manifested by the presence of our embassy in Tripoli, which continues to serve over 2,000 of our overseas Filipino workers who remain in Libya," del Rosario explained.

Since March, about 14,000 OFWs left Libya due to political tensions there.