MANILA, May 14, 2011â€”Overstaying Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia were urged to avail of King Abdullah bin Abdul-Azizâ€™s amnesty as it was extended.
Mario Ben, chairperson of Migrante-Saudi Arabia said in a statement that it is a great opportunity for Filipinos illegally staying in the oil-rich country as absconders and workers who have their Iqama (work visas) expired are included in King Abdullahâ€™s amnesty program.
Quoting a news report in one of Saudiâ€™s leading newspapers, Ben says that the application for amnesty is until September 2011.
â€œWe welcome the five months extension of the amnesty for all overstaying OFWs. We hail this very considerate decision by the Saudi govt. to allow our fellow overstaying OFWs to be repatriated without being subjected to its immigration violation penalty such as imprisonment and fines,â€ Ben said.
Meanwhile, Migrante regional coordinator in the Mid-East John Monterona urges the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and the Philippine Embassy to be quick in grabbing the opportunity of having their kababayans, who have ran away from their employers to work legally in Saudi by assisting them to avail of King Abdullahâ€™s amnesty.
â€œMigrante chapters in Saudi Arabia will be helping [in] disseminating the information [about the amnesty] by distributing leaflets and conducting dialogues with various Filipino organizations about the amnesty, and how they could ask for assistance for their documentation and eventually [to] avail the amnesty,â€ Monterona added.
Monterona, however said, that the Philippine government should be ready with some funds in order to facilitate overstaying Filipino workersâ€™ amnesty in Saudi. (Noel Sales Barcelona)