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Avail of amnesty, DOLE urges 'overstaying' Pinoy workers in UAE

January 2, 2013 11:30am
Philippine labor officials on Wednesday urged "overstaying" overseas Filipino workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to avail of the amnesty there - or leave - before Feb. 3.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said these OFWs have until Feb. 3 to leave the UAE without penalty or regularize their visas to legalize their stay.

“Illegal UAE residents who had overstayed their visas can obtain exit passes and leave the country without penalties, or regularize their visas after payment of fines,” Baldoz said in a news release.

She issued the advice after receiving a report of Philippine Labor Attaché to Abu Dhabi Nasser Munder regarding the amnesty for illegal residents.

The DOLE esitmates there are about 209,385 OFWs in the UAE.

It quoted Munder's report as saying illegal residents should visit residency departments across the UAE to get exit visas or outpasses and leave the country without penalty.

The UAE's last amnesty for illegal residents was in 2007, when 341,958 illegal residents of various nationalities availed of it.

Some 95,000 illegal workers of various nationalities also legalized their status in the 2007 amnesty.

Earlier, Philippine Vice Consul to UAE Gerry Suliguin said in a report on Khaleej Times that Filipinos staying illegally in the UAE have until February to avail of the amnesty.

“If they (are) caught after February 4, they will be facing cases in accordance with the UAE laws and will be fined and penalized,” Suliguin said.

Suliguin stressed the amnesty program does not exempt anyone who fails to avail of it. The program started last Dec. 4.

He said the reminder applies to Filipino workers in Dubai and the northern emirates with absconding and overstaying cases. - VVP, GMA News
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