Saudi Gazette report
Riyadh — Some 5,000 undocumented Filipino workers are expected to benefit from the 90-day amnesty which started on Wednesday.
“This is our top priority. We will do our best to process their travel documents as soon as possible,” Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement issued on Saturday.
“We will need as many people as we can who are knowledgeable in processing these documents of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for immediate repatriation,” Undersecretary Dominador Say was quoted as saying by Inquirer.net.
“We have to take advantage of the amnesty and bring them safely back home within the period given by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
The Philippine government will pay for the plane tickets of the OFWs.
“Those who prefer to stay are allowed to stay because some of them have already found a job,” Say said. “However, more OFWs want to go home. That’s the mission of the delegation – to take advantage of the amnesty, and bring home all stranded OFWs in Saudi Arabia.”
Officials from the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment are expected to arrive in the Kingdom to facilitate paperwork and make arrangements for exit visas of these workers.
The team is led by Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say with the participation of Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) Hans Cacdac, OWWA Deputy Administrator Brigido Dulay, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Mary Sol dela Cruz, OWWA representative Cesar Chavez Jr. and POEA representative Patricia Jacobo.
President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia this month.
As part of its ‘A Nation Without Violators’ campaign the Kingdom is allowing residency and labor law violators, illegal Haj pilgrims and runaway workers without criminal records to leave Saudi Arabia without paying any fines or facing any punishment.