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Bishop lauds amnesty for Kuwait’s undocumented OFWs

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Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, CBCP-ECMI chairman

MANILA, March 1, 2016— A Filipino Catholic bishop has lauded the Kuwait government’s “compassionate and merciful gestures” in granting partial amnesty for all illegal residents in the Gulf nation.

Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI), said the move may save undocumented OFWs in Kuwait from getting blacklisted.

“With the exemplary, gracious amnesty our OFWs can legalize their stay or leave the country without being blacklisted,” Santos said.

Under the partial amnesty, residency violators will be allowed to legalize their status or leave the country voluntarily without being blacklisted. With this, they can return on a new visa in the future.

Santos urged Filipinos residing in Kuwait illegally to avail of the system to avoid potential sanction from Kuwaiti authorities.

The Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO), in its 2013 report, said there are around 6,000 undocumented OFWs in Kuwait.

“Let us cooperate for our common good,” he said.

The prelate said the ECMI has been enjoying a “very harmonious and healthy” relationships with the Philippine embassy and State of Kuwait.

“We have three Catholic Churches there: Holy Family cathedral in Kuwait City, St. Therese in Salamiya and Our Lady of Arabia in al Alhmadi. There is weekly Holy Mass at the Philippine embassy,” he said.

Under the partial amnesty, residency violators will be allowed to legalize their status or leave the country voluntarily without being blacklisted. With this, they can return using a new visa in the future. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)


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