138 Filipinos remain in camps in S. ArabiaBy Dona Z. Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—From about a thousand two months ago, less than 150 Filipinos remain camped outside the Philippine Embassy and a Philippine consular office in Saudi Arabia, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez reported that a total of 414 individuals have so far been repatriated from Saudi Arabia before the July 3 deadline for undocumented workers to either return to their home countries or correct their status.
Among those repatriated were mothers and their children.
Since June 10, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reported having repatriated 77 Filipinos, including 16 mothers and 20 children.
Fourteen more individuals will arrive in Manila on June 15 at 3:20 p.m. from Riyadh on board Etihad Airways flight EY 424.
Hernandez said only four people remain camped outside the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and 134 people outside the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah.
The rest of the undocumented workers and their families are staying in temporary shelters.
“From a high of 77, the number of campers in our embassy in Riyadh is down to four. In Jeddah, from about a thousand several weeks ago, there are now only 134 individuals at the camp site near our consulate,” Hernandez said.
“There are also 161 mothers and children seeking shelter at the consulate,” he added.
With the deadline approaching, Philippine diplomatic officials have asked Saudi immigration authorities to streamline their procedures to help fast-track the repatriation of illegal Filipino workers.