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91 OFWs under Saudi amnesty program return home

SOME 91 overseas Filipinos workers who availed themselves of the Saudi Amnesty Program have been repatriated during the Holy week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced yesterday.

The first batch of Filipinos in Saudi whose repatriation was facilitated by the Philippine Government arrived on Maundy Thursday (April 13).
   
Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Jesus I. Yabes and Senior Special Assistant Ricardo M. Endaya distributed the tickets to the returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) while a representative of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) briefed the repatriates on the different OWWA programs.
   
Starting 29 March 2017, the Interior Ministry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allowed all undocumented migrant workers toavail of its amnesty program so they could leave the country without penalties. This is in line with its campaign, “A Nation Without Violations.”
 
On April 2, 2017, the Department of Foreign Affairs sent a Rapid Response Team to assist the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh in facilitating the repatriation of Filipinos covered by the amnesty program.
   
Thousands are expected to be repatriated in the coming weeks, through the joint efforts of the DFA and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
 
All Filipinos who have irregular status in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are encouraged to avail of the amnesty program.
   
For information on this program, kababayans may visit the website www.riyadhpe.dfa.gov.ph or the Facebook page Operation Bagong Simula.