834 Filipinos without papers take amnesty

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834 Filipinos without papers take amnesty

DUBAI — Only 834 Filipinos, who have stayed and worked illegally in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and have no proper documents, have so far been issued travel documents by the Philippine Consulate General since the start of the UAE’s Amnesty Programme on December 4.

By Lily B. Libo-on

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Published: Thu 31 Jan 2013, 11:54 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:19 AM

Philippine Consul General Frank R Cimafranca released this figure during the second Meet the Press at the Consulate highlighting the fact that this number comprised only Filipino illegal residents whose papers were not in order. “Those who have passports have directly gone to Al Aweer Investigation and Follow Up on Illegal Department, for processing their outpasses. We estimate that 1,000 Filipinos needing travel documents may seek amnesty up to February 4 .”

Frank R Cimafranca distributing free air tickets to the amnesty seekers. — Supplied photo

He said that the low turnout could be due to the fast recovery of Dubai from the economic downturn in 2009, and companies hiring workers again that could regularise their illegal status. “I met a company owner who came to the Philippine Consulate, needing 5,000 workers. Several others are also in search of workers. I believe these companies will not mind paying the Dh25 daily penalty for overstaying professionals such as engineers, if the overstay is just a few months.”

The Consul General urged illegal Filipino residents to make use of the opportunity granted by the UAE government, cautioning them that failure would result in penalties, including jail.

He said that those who avail of the amnesty can start off on a clean slate if they decide to come back to Dubai to work. “I advice them to go home now and avoid the penalties and jail,” he added.

Among the amnesty seekers were 84 wards at the Overseas Filipino Resource Centre at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office, 10 of whom received free air tickets from Makati Express Cargo.

On the issue of the rampant usage of passports as guarantee to creditors, Consul General Cimafranca said passports need not be proper guarantee. “Anyone using his passport as ‘Kapala’ can claim that his passport is lost and the Consulate will issue him a new one. Once a new passport is issued, the old passport used as ‘Kapala’ loses its value. So, do not accept passports as guarantee.”

The Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) had earlier estimated that some 19,000 Filipino illegal workers and residents would avail of the amnesty.


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