The Department of Labor and Employment has urged over 100,000 distressed and overstaying overseas Filipino workers in the United Arab Emirates to avail themselves of the three-month amnesty program offered by the Gulf state government.
The amnesty started on Aug. 1, 2018 and will end Oct. 31, 2018, giving a three-month grace to finalize all foreigners to correct their status or face fine and imprisonment.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III renewed his call to OFWs who have overstayed or escaped from their employers in the UAE to avail themselves of the amnesty to correct their status or be voluntarily repatriated back to the Philippines.
The three-month amnesty will benefit 87,706 undocumented or overstaying Filipino workers in Abu Dhabi and 14,400 in Dubai, he said.
“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 themselves 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.