Remaining stranded OFWs in Saudi to come home

Posted at 01/28/14 5:53 PM

Philippine Consulate representatives led by Vice Consul RJ Sumague brief 100 stranded OFWs before they board a bus to the Saudi processing center for their exit visas

MANILA – Undocumented overseas Filipino workers numbering about a thousand are set to come home after a successful negotiation between the consulate and Saudi Arabian immigration and deportation officials.

In a press statement, the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah announced that it endorsed 100 Filipinos for repatriation at the General Services Center (GSC) facility in Al-Shumaisy through a special arrangement with the host government.

The consulate said the OFWs, all males, were among the almost 8,000 who sought help from them since April last year for the issuance of their exit visas.

Also part of the 100 were undocumented OFWs staying at makeshift shelters they dubbed as tent city in Jeddah.

Consulate representatives are monitoring and reporting daily on the progress of the exit visas and final departure of the OFWs.

As of January 23, the Consulate General was able to facilitate the repatriation of 4,231 undocumented Filipinos, while the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh sent home a total of 2,946 individuals as of January 24, bringing the overall total for Saudi Arabia to 7,177.

Last year, the consulate repatriated 4,167 Filipinos from Saudi Arabia.

"The number is four times the 1,197 deported by Saudi Arabia in 2012 and more than the 3,720 in 2011 when the host government issued an amnesty for overstaying workers," the consulate said.

Meanwhile, the consulate also assisted 147 women and children obtain their exit visas.