4,167 OFWs brought home from Jeddah

Posted at 01/22/14 7:46 PM

MANILA -- A total of 4,167 overseas Filipino workers from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia have been brought home by the Department of Foreign Affairs. (DFA) through the Philippine Consulate General.

According to the DFA, more than 2,000 of the repatriates were women who ran away from their employers, and close to 900 were undocumented Filipino children.

The list did not include those who left the kingdom without informing the consulate, the DFA said in a press statement Wednesday.

The DFA shouldered the airline tickets of 2,997 of the repatriates, costing P56 million.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the host government provided 194 and 976 tickets, respectively.

Exit visas were processed and issued by the Saudi government through the facilitation of the Consulate and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.

The repatriated Filipinos are among the more than 28,000 who went to the consulate from April to December to seek either repatriation or transfer to legal sponsors.

The kingdom has intensified its "Saudization" campaign by going after illegal migrant workers, which led to 1,500 displaced OFWs setting up a "tent city" outside the consulate.

In May, the Saudi government declared a grace period for the correction of migrant workers' legal status, which was extended until November.

Most of the migrant Filipinos have successfully legalized their work status or have been repatriated, the DFA said.