Saudi extends grace period for OFWs

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Filipino refugee camp next to the Philippine embassy in Jeddah. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The grace period for undocumented migrant workers in Saudi Arabia has been extended for four months up to November 3, 2013, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Tuesday.

“We were just informed by our embassy in Riyadh that the grace period for the correction of status of undocumented foreigners in Saudi Arabia was extended until November 3, 2013,” DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez told reporters in a briefing.

“Undocumented Filipinos are advised to take advantage of this extension and immediately proceed to the concerned Saudi government agencies or to seek assistance from our embassy and consulate in Saudi Arabia for their repatriation or the regularization of their status,” Hernandez told reporters in a briefing.

Around 10,000 Filipinos had initially asked to be repatriated after Saudi Arabia implemented its “Saudization” policy that aims to encourage the hiring of Saudi nationals.

“But then came these guidelines which offered to regularize their stay in Saudi Arabia so I think some of them have decided not to come home but instead to regularize their employment,” Hernandez said.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah had issued the extension of the first three-month grace period back in April 6 which ends on July 3.

Saudi Arabia has been cracking down on illegal migrant workers since March 28 in accordance with its “Saudization” policy.

Hernandez said that many countries who also have nationals working in Saudi were also requesting for an extension of the grace period.

“[Many have] been requesting for an extension so that [their] people would be repatriated to [their respective countries] as soon as possible or that their papers are regularized and they are allowed to stay there legally,” he said.

“All this was taken into account and we are happy that the king of Saudi Arabia decided to extend the grace period,” Hernandez said.

The policy has led to thousands of deportations of undocumented Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the country which is home to around a million Filipino workers.

Government centers that process the repatriation and legalization requests were undermanned and already over-capacity leading to a slowdown in the processing of papers, Hernandez said.

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  • EdsonArantesDoNascimiento

    Matauhan naman sana kayong mga taga embassy/consulates/polo-owwa,at magtrabaho/kumilos na kayo ok!!!!Tama na yung mga pinaggagawa niyong illegal at pananamantala niyo sa distressed/vulnerable oFWs,especially the women ok!!!!Tama na ang pangmomosletiya/sexual-abusing at pagpapalaki ng mga scrotum niyo at kumilos na kayo ok!!!! Yalah,soorah,shookol alatul,bilisan at ayusin niyo trabaho nyo!!!!Kapag humingi pa kayo ng isa pang extension,ay talagang dapat na kayung tadyakan palabas at pabalik sa Pinas para makasuhan kayo ng “Dereliction of Duty!!!”Sa mga taong gobyerno na mapatunayang mga sexual-perverts at rapists,makasuhan ng kriminal!!!!!Yalah!!!!Kilos na para di masayang ang mga buwis at OWWA-funds
    namin!!!!Yalah,sura-sura!!!!Kilos na!!!!!

  • maung aye

    So, for the POLO officials, SEX – FOR-FLIGHT have been extended.

  • Billy Reyes

    Manuel Quezon once said its better to have a Government run like hell by the Filipinos rather than run like heaven by the Americans. The commonwealth government took so short as we force ourselves to govern our own like hell, at that time we are not ready to be Country, Hong Kong took so long under the British Commonwealth look at them compared to us.
    In 1991 we fired US military base most of our politician says “We are not nation of beggars, we stand on our own we don’t want any American influence”.
    WE ARE NOT NATION OF BEGGARS????? WE ARE BECOMING MORE LIKE NATION OF BEGGARS. Millions of our people work anywhere in the world for as less than 300 dollars a month, our domestic helper were abused, raped, some cases they are not paid. We are begging to the world that lowest form of job that no people in their own country want to do the job will be done by FILIPINOS.
    This is the kind of Pride we have???, our own enemy is ourselves unless we change the way we think.

    • jElly_aCe

      nadale mo parekoy! yan ang isa sa msamang ugali ng pnoys, ubod ng aarte at taas ng pride, syado nag gagaling galingan pero wla namn, .. walang msamang magpa kumbaba, wala naman nag da down sa atin noon, sobra lang tau nagmamalaki, syado tau mapusok sa pag iisip at punong puno ng drama, konting kanta lng ng pinoy ako song mag iiyakan na , na feeling inaapi..matuto tau harapin ang realidad na nde myaman ang bansa natin, dami kwatan sa gobyerno at kelangan natin ng help sa ibang bansa. ung mga pulitikong mahilig manggatong abt kabayanihan, wala yan! myaman yang mga yan at anytyn magka gyera sa pinas tatakbo yan buong angkan sa US. at mang iiwan sa ere. tsk!

    • Billy Reyes

      Mr. President Quezon if you can only see what’s happening now to our country you regret everything you said.
      Our country is really run like HELL by Filipinos is not a better country.

    • buttones

      Quezon was a moron-a cretin. And now has a sewer named after him- very appropriate…..

    • Moro Ali Pala

      quezon and his big mouth. nagkatotoo nga!!! our country is run like hell by filipino. i rather have a country run by americans or aliens for that matter as long as the people live in heaven. sinabi lang yun ni quezon dahil siya ang mamumuno. wala siyang pakialam magkanda litse litse ang pinas sa palakad niya basta ba siya lang and leader!!! daming tulad niya ngayon naglipanan.

    • BOSSlot

      I didnt see any logic of this comment in so far as the story above is concerned

      • Billy Reyes

        Its about the struggle of millions of Filipino to find better life abroad, the struggle of our country to provide better job for its people, poverty.

        The undocumented workers in Saudi Arabia, United States, Sabah & the rest of the world is because of that struggle in finding better life in our own country. That is what it mean… ask me more if you still don’t get it.

    • rodben

      Where are now the PROMISES OF EDSA TO POOR PINOYS’?

  • rodben

    PEACE BE WITH YOU KING ABDULLAH FOR YOUR GOLDEN HEARTH TO ALL PINOY’S THAT OUR GOV’T CAN’T DO….HOPE ANOTHER KING ABDULLAH WILL RULE PINAS…

    • Marx Louis Wang

      will rule… ang utot mo.

    • danyaleQuinto

      @rodben: ang extended amnesty na ibinigay ni King Abdullah ay hindi para sa mga pinoy ofw’s lamang, bagkus, ito ay para sa lahat ng mga dayuhang manggagawa dito sa kaharian, i.e.: india, pakistan, bangladesh, nepal, indonesia, thais, yemen, egyptians, jordanians, syrians, etc.

  • Mang_Ben

    “Filipino refugee camp next to the Philippine embassy in Jeddah. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO”

    AFAIK, the Philippine Embassy is in Riyadh and the office in Jeddah is a Philippine Consulate General.

    • danyaleQuinto

      perhaps the author/contributor can’t hardly differentiate between the two, or perhaps un-aware and have no idea which city here in saudi these two PHL foreign mission/post are located.

  • speaksoftlylove

    Extended daw ng Saudi ang grace period ng OFWs bobongangangarraw a.k.a. Juan Tamadechas.

    Ang swerte nyo naman. Pwede pang i-extend yong pambubugaw ninyo hanggang Nov. 3, 2013. Sagana ang pasko ng mga dalawang santongbugaw.

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