THE Philippines has thanked Saudi Arabia for extending an amnesty program that will allow hundreds more of undocumented Filipinos to be repatriated.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano personally conveyed Manila’s appreciation to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York over the weekend.
Cayetano said the extension of the amnesty program is expected to benefit more than 6,000 undocumented Filipinos who were not able to avail themselves of the initial amnesty offer.
A total of 8,467 undocumented Filipinos have benefitted from the program and have been repatriated in various batches by the DFA.
“We really appreciate this gesture of the Saudi government that would allow us to bring home many more of our kababayans who are still stranded there,” Cayetano said.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said the extension was in response to the request of the Philippines and several other countries.
“This is the extension to the initial 90-day amnesty given in March that was extended for 30 days and now extended for the second time,” Arriola said.