DOLE: 83 of 301 OFWs in Oman amnesty program awaiting repatriation
A total of 83 of the 301 overseas Filipinos workers who availed of the Sultanate of Oman’s amnesty program for illegally-staying foreign workers are awaiting repatriation, the Department of Labor and Employment said.
Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Oman, the DOLE said the OFWs availed of the program which took effect on April 1, 2015, and was subsequently extended until October 31.
“We have received an update from Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Oman that 301 Filipinos have been registered for the amnesty program, and 218 of them were already repatriated, while the remaining 83 are now awaiting approval for repatriation by the Oman Ministry of Manpower and Immigration,” said DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a statement.
Some of the amnesty program applicants were 21 workers, including three children, who left Oman on October 22 via Qatar Airways Flight No. QR 932 and arrived at NAIA the following day.
Also, she said that those who are already registered at the POLO and accepted by Oman’s Ministry of Manpower are given the chance to leave the country on or before November 15.
There are 1,470 illegal Filipino workers in the Sultanate, but only 301 of them came out and availed of the Amnesty Program, according to the Oman National Statistics and Information Center.
Baldoz noted that Oman authorities will strictly enforce the law.
“Since the amnesty program was launched, we have made an ardent call to illegally-staying Filipinos in the Sultanate to avoid penalties and detention,” she said.
An estimated 600,000 illegal foreign workers were documented by Oman authorities, but only 100,000 of them have left the country so far.
Baldoz said that Oman implemented the amnesty program pursuant to the guidelines under the labor law promulgated by the Sultanate’s Royal Decree 35/2003.
The Oman Ministry of Manpower briefed labor attaches of foreign embassies in Muscat about its efforts to regulate the presence of foreign workers in the Sultanate. — LBG, GMA News