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globalnation / Middle East & Africa

Pinoy illegals urged to take amnesty offer of Saudi gov’t

globalnation / Middle East & Africa
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LAST-MINUTE APPEAL

Pinoy illegals urged to take amnesty offer of Saudi gov’t

Labor officials are making a last-minute appeal to Filipino workers to avail themselves of the Saudi government’s extended amnesty program for undocumented foreigners.

Around 600 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Riyadh have been repatriated in the past few days, with 600 more expected to come home, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) said.

The Dole continued to process the papers of the stranded OFWs in Saudi Arabia so they could make the July 24 deadline for the extended amnesty program, Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say said.

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“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,” he said.

Stranded or undocumented foreigners have 10 days to apply for the extended amnesty program, which initially concluded its 90-day run in June.

Qualified to apply are the undocumented and overstaying foreigners, OFWs with expired residency permits or those without the said permits and those who escaped or were abandoned by their employers.

Say encouraged the stranded and undocumented OFWs to avail of the extended amnesty program, since the Saudi government would launch their crackdown once the amnesty was lifted.

“Some OFWs choose to stay, stressing that they could still work for at least a month and save money before going back home … Those eligible, we urge them to register and let the government bring them back home,” he said.

He noted that some Filipino workers were not eligible for the amnesty because of other violations and cases of absconding.

Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has sent an augmentation team to Saudi Arabia to accommodate more applicants for the amnesty and to expedite the processing of the OFWs’ documents.

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