200 Filipinos, in­clud­ing in­fants, depart from Kuwait Mon­day

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - News Plus -

KUWAIT -- The Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs (DFA) is repa­tri­at­ing a batch of 200 un­doc­u­mented Filipinos, in­clud­ing 18 in­fants be­low two years old, on Mon­day (April 16, 2018) under the amnesty pro­gram granted by the Kuwaiti gov­ern­ment for Filipinos.

In an in­ter­view here at the Philip­pine Em­bassy in Kuwait, DFA Un­der­sec­re­tary Sarah Lou Ar­riola said this num­ber adds to the to­tal repa­tri­ated of 4,164 Filipinos as of April 14.

The amnesty is set to ex­pire April 22, leav­ing at least 5,000 more un­doc­u­mented Filipinos who has yet reg­is­tered for the pro­gram at risk of crack­down. Cit­ing the data from Kuwait’s Min­istry of In­te­rior, DFA said there are more than 10,000 over­stay­ing and run­away Filipinos in the Gulf state.

“We’re re­ally hop­ing na may mga hum­abol pa, kasi sa tin­gin ko, be­fore 22 makaka­pag-uwi tayo ng a lit­tle less than 5,000 Filipinos [We’re re­ally hop­ing there would be more that would avail of the pro­gram, and be­fore the 22nd, we can bring home a lit­tle less than 5,000 Filipinos] ,” Ar­riola said.

Al­though the Philip­pine Em­bassy in Kuwait gave a dead­line on April 12 for reg­is­tra­tion, Ar­riola said no Filipinos, un­til April 22, will be de­nied from amnesty ap­pli­ca­tion.

“Ga­gawa’t ga­gawa kami ng paraan para mai­habol yung exit nila [we will do our best to beat the dead­line] be­fore April 22, kasi [be­cause] af­ter that, crack­down na, manghuhuli na, ikuku­long na, then to­tal ban na sila rito sa Kuwait at may fine pa iyon [they would be im­pris­oned and fined],” she added.

The of­fi­cial said all who reg­is­tered for repa­tri­a­tion will re­ceive a PHP5,000 cash from the DFA in Manila. This, in ad­di­tion to the la­bor depart­ment’s cash as­sis­tance and the liveli­hood pack­age they can ap­ply for.

“Just to give you a rough idea, more than 1/3 of our op­er­a­tions sa DFA is go­ing to Kuwait,” she said when asked how much of the As­sis­tance to Na­tion­als (ATN) fund has al­ready been dis­bursed in Kuwait repa­tri­a­tions. She con­tin­ued: “Sabi na­man ni Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, gamitin niyo what­ever you have, so la­hat ng re­sources natin, ha­los la­hat, nakatu­tok dito [The Pres­i­dent in­structed us to use what­ever we have so our re­sources are poured here].”

Among oth­ers, Ar­riola as­sured that gov­ern­ment agen­cies are in close co­or­di­na­tion to di­rect other Filipinos in la­bor mar­kets be­ing opened in other coun­tries.

“We are also do­ing the best we can to see other places like China, Czech Repub­lic para maka­pa­gap­ply rin sila [so they can ap­ply],” Ar­riola said.

From Jan­uary 29, the start of the amnesty pro­gram, Ar­riola said more than 5,000 OFWs reg­is­tered. Of this fig­ure, around 560 reg­is­tered on April 12, with still more ex­pected to ap­ply this week.

“Tin­u­lun­gan din namin ang at­ing mga ka­p­atid sa Philip­pine Over­seas La­bor Of­fice (POLO) Kuwait na mag-uwi ng mga ka­p­atid natin sa shel­ter kasi ang goal ay to bring ev­ery­one home [We are also help­ing POLO Kuwait to bring home our fel­low Filipinos in the shel­ter be­cause the goal is to bring ev­ery­one home.],” Ar­riola said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.