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Illegal OFWs in Saudi face deportation

The Migrante International said on Tuesday that hundreds of undocumented Filipinos stranded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia would be arrested once the 90-day grace period given by the Saudi government has lapsed. “The Saudi government will have to implement its immigration laws regarding overstaying foreigners. The Saudi government will have to do it in the same manner that the Philippines have deported overstaying Saudi nationals,” said Garry Martinez of Migrante. Foreign affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Philippine government was doing everything it can to assist the OFWs in Jeddah. “It’s not so easy to repatriate OFWs because it’s not (merely) a matter of money.” Del Rosario said that while the government has the capability to pay the airfare and other needs of the OFWs, the government needs to comply with the process being strictly implemented by the Saudi government. “There’s a process that they follow. For example, you have to get a No Objection Certificate from their employers and these employers are sometimes hard to find. And when you find them, you have to negotiate with them. So we’re trying to help out with this particular requirement,” he said.
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