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Over 4,800 OFWs from UAE repatriated to Philippines
The Department of Foreign Affairs shouldered the maintenance and costs of Filipino shelters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, processing of exit visas and workers’ airfare to Manila and their respective home provinces.
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Over 4,800 OFWs from UAE repatriated to Philippines

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - October 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Over 4,800 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been repatriated to the Philippines from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since January 2019, costing the government over P135.34 million, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

In 2018, a total of 5,842 OFWs were repatriated from Dubai and 3,533 from Abu Dhabi, with the government spending P175.21 million in assistance.

The DFA shouldered the maintenance and costs of Filipino shelters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, processing of exit visas and workers’ airfare to Manila and their respective home provinces.

Yesterday, the DFA welcomed the arrival of 158 distressed OFWs from the UAE, 74 from Abu Dhabi and 84 from Dubai.

Most of them were victims of human trafficking.

Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana said the latest repatriation of OFWs was a joint effort between the Philippine embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General in Dubai.

“The workers were found to have left the country using short-term visit visas and were promised to be issued a work visa by illegal recruiters. Many of them were overworked, suffered maltreatment and experienced contract violations by their employer,” said Consul General to Dubai Paul Raymund Cortes.

The DFA reiterated its warning to Filipinos seeking employment abroad against the use of tourist or visit visas to secure overseas jobs.

OFWs without the proper employment documents are more prone to abuses and exploitation by their employers, Cortes said. 

The DFA has been receiving reports about illegal recruiters using a third or fourth country, usually where visa is not required for Filipinos and some countries in the Middle East, as jump-off points to send Filipino workers to banned destinations. 

The department would continue to partner with other member agencies of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to prevent and suppress trafficking, Cortes said.

The IACAT is the central coordinating body that monitors and oversees the strict implementation of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS
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