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Undocumented Filipino kids in Sabah to receive basic education

By: - NewsLab Lead / @MSantosINQ
/ 04:19 PM June 24, 2014

Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—More than 30,000 undocumented Filipino children in Sabah may soon be given basic education, Vice President Jejomar Binay said Tuesday.

“I commend the Philippine embassy (in Malaysia) and the Filipino community for their service. I am hopeful the government of Malaysia will act favorably on our request to help in providing basic education for our undocumented children,” Binay said in a statement.

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Binay was previously in Malaysia where he met with Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Dato Muhyiddin bin Yassin.

He requested Malaysia’s assistance in finding “creative and effective” means through a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding on Education to address the growing concern on the lack of access to education of undocumented children in North Borneo.

At present, the embassy and the Filipino community in North Borneo provide opportunities for the undocumented children to learn the basics of reading, writing and simple mathematics in alternative learning centers.

There are more than 686,000 Filipinos in Malaysia, according to December 2012 records of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

More than 447,000 Filipinos there are irregular while around 213,000 are temporary.

Malaysia has long struggled with illegal immigrants from the
Philippines that go into Sabah from the province of Tawi-tawi.

Armed bandit groups were previously able to get into Sabah and conduct their kidnap for ransom operations.

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