Bittersweet stories as undocumented OFWs trickle in from Saudi Arabia
JEDDAH - Thirty-seven more undocumented Filipino workers who availed of the amnesty being offered by the Saudi Arabian government were sent home.
On board an Etihad Airways flight, the 37 left Jeddah Thursday morning (Saudi Arabia time) and were expected to arrive in Manila late Thursday night.
Some of the 37 undocumented OFWs who availed of Saudi Arabia's amnesty before their departure for Manila.
The group was accompanied by Amelito Adel of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), which sponsored the plane tickets, to the airport.
"Salamat sa Diyos at wala namang naging problema sa mga nakauwi maliban dun sa isa na nawalan ng boarding pass na agad naman naming nagawan ng paraan," said Adel.
One of the Filipinos, Felomina Inecita, has been working illegally in Saudi Arabia for five years. She has fond memories of the employer that she will leave behind.
"Umiiyak siya nung pauwi na ako, hina-hug niya ako at sinabi niya sa akin na huwag daw ako mag-alala at padadalhan niya agad ako ng visa," said Inecita, a Cebuana who left her original employer for allegedly being abusive.
Meanwhile, despite being sent home, Jainal Abdila, a resident of Tagum City, couldn't bring himself to be happy as he will be leaving behind his wife who is working in Saudi Arabia legally.
For now, Abdila is banking on the promise of his employer that it would send him a visa so that he could return to Saudi Arabia and work legally.
"Sabi sa akin ng kumpanya ko ay papadalhan daw ako ng visa pero kung may makuha naman ako hanapbuhay sa atin ay doon na muna ako para makasama ko ang mga anak ko," he said.
Both Inecita and Abdila are thankful to the Philippine Consulate and OWWA for helping them in applying for the amnesty, which is being offered by Saudi Arabia for 90 days starting March 29. —Ronaldo Concha/KBK, GMA News