DAVAO CITY, Philippines —- President Rodrigo Duterte is returning to the Philippines on Monday together with overseas Filipino workers who were granted amnesty by the Saudi government.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a press briefing in Four Seasons Hotel in Doha, Qatar on Sunday, April 16, said “more than 150” OFWs who are either overstaying or undocumented are expected to arrive after Duterte’s week-long state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Qatar. The OFWs are expected to arrive around 3:30 a.m in Manila from Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi government earlier announced that it will implement a 90-day amnesty program for the repatriation of migrant workers.
On Thursday, GMA News reported the arrival of 105 distressed OFWs from Saudi at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.
Also, in a press briefing last Apr. 12, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced that the government of Saudi Arabia agreed to the repatriation of “more or less 160 runaways”.
“These runaways are usually those OFWs who were undocumented. They were victims of illegal recruitment while some of them were properly recruited but after a while they will be sold to other employers,” he said.
Bello said after being sold to other employers, the OFWs loses their legal standing.
“So ang nangyayari sumisibat sila (So, they run away),” he said.
Bello admitted that the issue is a continuing problem. “Until we have illegal recruitment, we will always have runaways in shelters,” he said.
Bello said that as of April 12, Filipino migrant workers who applied for amnesty have reached 4,000.
Bello on Sunday said they are working on the repatriation of 86 distressed OFWs in Qatar “in a month or two.” (davaotoday.com)