Quantcast
Latest Stories

PH asks Saudis to expedite processing of Filipino illegals

By

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario: Seeking more assistance. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines has asked Saudi Arabia to expedite the processing of undocumented Filipinos either seeking to correct their immigration status or securing exit visas to return home.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Thursday he has written a letter to Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal in hopes of speeding up the issuance of exit visas to undocumented Filipinos who want to come home and the processing of documents of those who want to legalize their stay in the the Kingdom.

Del Rosario also sought an audience with his Saudi counterpart to discuss the matter, as thousands of Filipino workers hope to have their papers processed before Nov. 3, the extended deadline for foreign illegals to correct their status.

In his letter, Del Rosario asked the Saudi Foreign Ministry “if we could get more assistance in terms of trying to come up with a speedier process for our people.”

“I asked for a meeting with the Foreign Minister in the next one or two weeks. I indicated to him that I’m prepared to go back anytime he can see me, because I really want to sit down with him to see if we can get more assistance and support,” said Del Rosario.

The official had just returned from a trip to the Middle East on Monday, a quick visit to check on the condition of Filipinos in conflict-stricken Egypt and in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where Philippine nationals are either seeking repatriation or regularization amid a crackdown on illegal workers there.

“We’re trying to see if the Saudi authorities can improve the speed at which our people are getting their papers—the exit visas—as well as regularizing their work permits. So we’re putting more people to the task,” said Del Rosario.

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz had extended from July 3 to Nov. 3 the deadline for illegal foreign workers to regularlize their status, heeding appeals from foreign governments seeking a longer grace period for their citizens.

Saudi Arabia’s crackdown initiated in April had prompted hundreds of undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to establish camps outside the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah.

“Of course, we welcome this extension that was provided to Nov. 3, but we hope that we could be ready in terms of achieving all our objectives at that time,” Del Rosario said.

He said some of the undocumented OFWs have either landed new jobs or have been repatriated. Per figures of the Department of Foreign (DFA), more than 1,500 OFWs have been flown home from Saudi Arabia to date.

There are at least 1.5 million Filipinos in Saudi Arabia, an undetermined number of whom are known to be staying there illegally. The DFA earlier said, however, that some 10,000 undocumented Filipinos expressed the desire to be repatriated.

During his Middle East trip, Del Rosario also visited Egypt to check on the preparedness of the Philippine mission in Cairo amid the unrest in the country. The Philippine government earlier hoisted crisis alert level 2 over Egypt, restricting the movement of some 6,000 Filipinos in Egypt.

“I think I have the confidence that we’re prepared for any possible eventualities there. We have a very good contingency plan and our ambassador there is very competent and very much on top of the situation,” said Del Rosario.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Diplomacy , Global Nation , Philippines , Saudi Arabia , undocumented Filipinos



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • If Napoles names Aquino allies, they’ll be brought to bar of justice – Palace
  • Lacson says diamond-studded earring snatched from wife fake
  • Pope John XXIII launched Vatican II and then some
  • Militants: Napoles as state witness is ‘clear travesty of justice’
  • US ‘closely watching’ for signs of N.Korea nuclear test
  • Sports

  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series
  • David Moyes out as Manchester United manager
  • Nadal to face fellow Spaniard at Barcelona Open
  • Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico in scoreless draw
  • Lifestyle

  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Sweet party for Andi Manzano
  • Safety in online buying and selling
  • Entertainment

  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Summer movie preview: Bay reboots ‘Transformers’
  • Business

  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • $103M Vista Land bonds tendered for redemption
  • Oil slips to $102 as US crude supplies seen rising
  • SC stops Meralco power rate hike anew
  • Technology

  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law
  • New York police Twitter campaign backfires badly
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  • China, rivals sign pact to ease maritime tensions
  • Visa-free US trip? Do not believe it, says consulate
  • Obama visit to Asia seen as counterweight to China
  • Violence mars militant protest at US Embassy
  • Marketplace