At least 301 overstaying overseas Filipino workers have availed themselves of Oman’s amnesty program for illegal foreign workers, the Department of Labor and Employment said.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the OFWs were provided assistance under the repatriation program of the Philippine government.
“The 301 illegally staying Filipinos who came out and registered for repatriation to avoid being penalized as the Sultanate of Oman’s extended amnesty program for illegally staying foreign workers ended last October,” Baldoz said.
“Some of them were already repatriated, while others are now awaiting approval for repatriation by the Oman Ministry of Manpower and Immigration,” Baldoz said.
The Oman amnesty program which started in April this year was extended to Oct. 31, 2015.
Oman authorities will now strictly enforce the law and will go after all illegal foreign nationals.
“Since the amnesty program was launched, we have made an ardent call to illegally staying Filipinos in the Sultanate to avoid penalties and detention,” Baldoz said.
An estimated 600,000 illegal foreign workers were documented by the Oman authorities, but only 100,000 of them have left the country, she said.
The Oman National Statistics and Information Center reported 1,470 illegal Filipino workers in the Sultanate, but only 301 of them have come out and signed up for the amnesty program.
The amnesty program took effect last 1 April 2015, and was subsequently extended to encourage more illegal workers to avail of the program.