Monday, April 17, 2017

150 OFWs granted amnesty in Saudi to arrive in PHL alongside Duterte

Another group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are expected to arrive back in the Philippines around the same time as President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a press briefing in Qatar on Sunday, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte will be returning "with more than 150 OFWs" from Saudi Arabia, which is currently implementing an amnesty program that grants undocumented foreigners 90 days to be repatriated.
The OFWs are scheduled to leave the said country at around 12 noon there (5 p.m., Philippine time).
They are expected to arrive in the Philippines at 3:30 a.m., around the same time that Duterte is eyed to return to Davao City after a week-long visit to the Middle East.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced last week that the Saudi Arabian government has allowed 160 "runaway" OFWs to go home, with its labor minister, Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafis, agreeing to facilitate the repatriation. 
This comes days after 105 OFWs arrived in the Philippines from Riyadh, also under the Saudi Arabian government's program, which gives undocumented foreigners 90 days to be repatriated to their home countries. 
Repatriation of Qatar OFWs
In Sunday's press briefing, Bello said the Qatar government has made a similar commitment.
He said the Qatar minister of labor has agreed to a meeting "to consider the repatriation of about 86 OFWs" there, who are currently staying at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) there.
These OFWs include those who were victims of illegal recruitment and abuse from employers, he noted. 
"Ginagawan ng paraan para makakuha ng exit permits, mabawi 'yung mga tinatago ng employer nila. So hopefully we can get the repatriation of these 86 in a month or two," Bello said. —KG, GMA News

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