A total of 5,176 undocumented Filipinos have returned home after availing of the 90-day amnesty program offered by the Saudi Arabian government, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.
The Saudi Arabian government started the amnesty program last March 29 to allow undocumented foreigners, including Filipinos, to return to their home countries without fines or jail sentences.
According to the DFA, some 12,000 Filipinos - having trouble with residency and labor regulations in Saudi Arabia - managed to register for deportation before the deadline for the amnesty expired on Sunday.
The DFA deployed two response teams to Riyadh and Jeddah to register and issue travel documents to Filipinos who wished to return to the Philippines.
"The teams also coordinated with Saudi immigration officials and the airlines to ensure a smooth and efficient repatriation process," it said.
Saudi Immigration had not yet announced an extension, but those who wish to have their exit documents processed are advised by the DFA to settle their commercial and private debts before the application.
Repatriated OFWs can avail of livelihood and other socio-economic support programs provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. —Margaret Claire Layug/KBK/KVD, GMA News