Over 100,000 distressed and overstaying overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are due to benefit from the three-month amnesty program being offered by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the labor department reported over the weekend.

This is why Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III is calling on OFWs who have overstayed or escaped from their employers in the UAE to avail of the amnesty to correct their status or be voluntarily repatriated back to the Philippines.

The amnesty started this month and will continue until the end of October. It will benefit 87,706 undocumented or overstaying Filipino workers in Abu Dhabi and 14,400 in Dubai.

“I advise all the undocumented, distressed, and overstaying OFWs to avail of the amnesty program given by the government of UAE for them to legalize their stay or return back to Philippines for their own good. The government is always ready to provide any assistance to those who wish to come home,” Bello said.

Under the amnesty program or the ‘Protect Yourself via Rectifying Your Status,’ all foreigners violating the residency regulation are given a chance to either leave UAE voluntarily without prosecution or legalize their status by paying the required fees.

OFWs who wish to avail of the amnesty may seek assistance from the Philippine Embassy in UAE, as well as from the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

There are 646,258 documented OFWs in UAE of which 224,572 OFWs are in Abu Dhabi and 421,686 are in Dubai.

Meanwhile, OFWs who wish to be repatriated will receive immediate assistance from Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), including airport and cash assistance.

Aside from the immediate assistance, local and overseas employment referral, livelihood assistance, legal and conciliation services, competency assessment and training assistance will also be provided to the repatriated OFWs under DOLE Assist WELL (Welfare, Employment, Legal and Livelihood) Program.

###Abegail De Vega

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100k OFW makikinabang sa amnestiya ng UAE

Higit 100,000 overstaying na overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) ang inaasahang makikinabang sa tatlong buwang amnestiya na alok ng pamahalaan ng United Arab Emirates (UAE), ayon sa ulat ng Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Kaugnay nito, nanawagan si Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III sa lahat ng mga OFW na overstaying at tumakas sa kanilang mga employer sa UAE na kumuha ng amnestiya at isaayos ang kanilang estado o boluntaryong magpa-repatriate pabalik sa Pilipinas.

Nagsimula ang amnestiya ngayong buwan at magpapatuloy hanggang sa katapusan ng Oktubre. Inaasahang nasa 87,706 na undocumented at overstaying na mga Pilipinong manggagawa ang makikinabang nito sa Abu Dhabi at 14,400 naman sa Dubai.

“Pinapayuhan ko ang lahat ng undocumented, distressed, at overstaying na mga OFW na kumuha ng amnestiya na alok ng gobyerno ng UAE upang maging ligal ang kanilang pananatili o bumalik sa Pilipinas para sa kanilang kapakanan. Handa ang ating pamahalaan upang bigyan sila ng ayuda kung naisin nilang umuwi sa bansa,” wika ni Bello.

Sa ilalim ng programang amnestiya, o ‘Protect Yourself via Rectifying Your Status,’ lahat ng dayuhan na lumalabag sa panuntunan sa paninirahan ay binibigyan ng pagkakataon na boluntaryong umalis ng UAE nang walang pananagutan sa batas o gawing ligal ang kanilang estado sa pamamagitan ng pagbabayad ng tama.

Ang mga OFW na nais kumuha ng amnestiya ay maaaring humingi ng tulong mula sa Philippine Embassy sa UAE, maging sa Philippine Overseas Labor Office sa Abu Dhabi at Dubai.

Tinatayang mayroong 646,258 documented OFW sa UAE kung saan 224,572 mga OFW rito ay nasa Abu Dhabi habang 421,686 naman ang nasa Dubai.

Samantala, ang mga OFW na nais mapauwi ay makatatanggap ng agarang tulong mula sa Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), kabilang rito ang airport at cash assistance.

Liban sa mga nasabing tulong, bibigyan rin sila ng employment referral para sa local at overseas, livelihood assistance, legal at conciliation service, competency assessment at training assistance sa mga mapapauwing OFW sa ilalim ng DOLE Assist WELL (Welfare, Employment, Legal and Livelihood) Program).

###Abegail De Vega/ Paul Ang

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