The Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Kuwait are now rushing to repatriate as many as 10,000 overstaying Filipinos who are expected to avail themselves of an amnesty program arranged with the Kuwaiti government, Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said Monday.
“The Embassy and POLO in Kuwait expect that more than 10,000 Filipinos who have overstayed their visas are qualified for repatriation,” Arriola said.
According to the agency, the amnesty program was approved by the Kuwaiti government in January 2018 upon representations made by the Philipine government through the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait.
On Monday, the DFA received the first batch of workers who were repatriated on three commercial flights that left Kuwait on Sunday afternoon. The overseas Filipino workers who arrived on Monday were among those who availed themselves of the amnesty program.
To date, some 2,229 Filipinos have been issued travel documents, and 1,754 of them have been granted immigration clearances.
Arrangements have been made with Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific for the repatriation of those already issued travel documents and all those who want to return to the country, the DFA said.
Aside from shouldering the cost of the airfare, the Philippine government shall also settle the immigration penalties of overstaying Filipinos.
The Department of Labor and Employment enforced on Monday (Feb. 12) an administrative order banning deployment of all Filipino workers to Kuwait after President Rodrigo R. Duterte castigated reported abuses and inhumane treatment of Filipino domestic helpers in the Gulf state. (PNA)