More stranded and undocumented overseas Filipino workers are expected to be repatriated by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with the extended amnesty period given by Saudi Arabia.
Undersecretary Dominador Say said 600 more stranded and undocumented OFWs in the Arab country will be repatriated by the government in the coming weeks.
We continue our efforts in processing the travel documents of our stranded OFWs in Saudi. We urge them to take advantage of the amnesty extension and immediately avail of the amnesty grant and the government will take care of the repatriation process, Say said.
After finalizing the schedule of flights with the officials from the Philippine Airlines, Say noted that around 600 OFWs from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia have already been brought home from July 7 to 9.
Aside from the said numbers, Say added that around 400 OFWs in Saudi, who recently registered to avail of the grant, may have bought their own plane tickets back to the Philippines because their visa will expire soon and others may have found new employers and decided to stay in the Middle East
We are waiting for the OFW repatriates from Jeddah and I recently had a meeting with the Philippine Airlines to book their flights and immediately bring them back home, Say explained
On the other hand, Say strongly encourages the remaining stranded and undocumented OFWs in Saudi to take advantage of the amnesty extension because Saudi authorities will immediately commence their crack-down as soon as the conclusion of the amnesty program.
Some OFWs choose to stay, stressing that they could still work for at least a month and save money before going back home. Others are not eligible for the amnesty, such as those with absconding cases, and other violations. For those eligible OFWs, we urge them to register and let the government bring them back home, Say added.
The DOLE Senior Official also said that Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III had also sent an augmentation team in Saudi to accommodate more registrants and availees of the amnesty. The team left on July 11 and will aid to expedite the processing of documents of the OFWs.
Say meantime expressed hope for the amnesty program to be extended further by the Saudi government so that more OFWs can be brought home by DOLE.
It can be noted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently concluded the implementation of its 90-day amnesty program for undocumented foreign nationals dubbed A nation without violators on June 25, 2017. In order to give more chances for said individuals, the Saudi government has extended the amnesty program for 30 days and is expected to end on July 24, 2017.
Source: DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT REPUBLIC OF PHILIPPINES