ANTIPOLO City, October 1, 2011—Twenty-eight undocumented Filipino workers nabbed in Jordan as the Jordanian government has launched its crackdown, versus illegal aliens.
John Leonard C. Monterona of Migrante-Middle East said in his email, most of the undocumented OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] arrested by the Jordanian immigration officials and the police were females.
Monterona said, there were more than 30 undocumented workers of different nationalities were arrested since September 26. The migrant leader said the number is expected to increase the coming days.
“Based on field reports, the Jordanian government has instructed its law enforcers to conduct a house-to-house to “clean” the country from undocumented migrants. However, we’re still verifying, as some information suggest, if the said crackdown targets only Filipino workers, or if it’s for all nationalities illegally staying in the Jordanian soil,” Monterona said.
He also said that most of the undocumented Filipino workers in Jordan, and even other parts of the Mid-East, were absconders—they run away from their abusive employers and had sought other jobs in the area, despite the lack of or expired work documents.
Meanwhile, Monterona believes that deployment ban in Jordan won’t work; rather it would just be exploited by human traffickers.
“As an off-shoot of the imposition of deployment ban in Jordan, just as like of the ban imposed in Lebanon, illegal deployment activities by human traffickers and illegal recruiters victimizing thousands of OFWs and aspiring OFWs, had only proliferated,” Monterona said.
Monterona suggests that the Philippine government should enter into a doable—and not onerous—bilateral labor agreement with the Jordan government to legalize the stay of undocumented Filipinos there, and also to protect them from human rights abuses.
“That would work for our 40,000 to 50,000 compatriots working in Jordan,” he said. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews]