Cheap air tickets likely for Filipino amnesty-seekers

DUBAI — The Philippines mission in the UAE may soon request Philippines Airlines (PAL) and its aviation partners in the Middle East to offer lower fares to Filipino amnesty-seekers.

By Criselda E. Diala

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Published: Sat 21 Jul 2007, 9:07 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:15 AM

Philippine Labour Attache Virginia Calvez disclosed yesterday during the monthly community meeting that the Philippines Overseas Labour Office-Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA), together with the Philippine Embassy and Philippine Consulate-General (PCG), are exploring the possibilities of providing lower air fares for flights to Manila. Currently, a one-way air ticket to Manila from Dubai costs about Dh1,400.

“Unfortunately, PAL does not operate its aircraft to the UAE, but has code-share agreements with other airlines like Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. These airlines allocate a certain number of seats to PAL,” Calvez said.

She added that Dnata has already agreed to submit a proposal on fare adjustments for Filipino amnesty-seekers. The same proposal will be referred to the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) in Manila and the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration, which will then hold talks with PAL officials.

“We’re expecting the number of amnesty-seekers to go up by mid-August. Hopefully we’d be able to work this proposal out soon,” she hoped.

Rafael Palencia Jr., senior officer at the PCG’s Assistance to Nationals (ATN) Section, said more than 500 Filipino illegals in Dubai and the Northern Emirates have been repatriated so far under the UAE government’s ongoing amnesty programme.

Based on the amnesty programme outcome in 2003, the PCG in Dubai estimates that around 3,000 Filipinos will benefit from the amnesty this year. “Many of the illegal Filipino residents have opted to legalise their residency status by looking for new sponsors,” Calvez said.

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