Manila mulls tough rules for Filipinos visiting UAE

DUBAI — The Philippine government is likely to come out with a stricter policy for Filipinos leaving for the UAE on visit visas.

By Criselda E. Diala

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Published: Fri 2 Feb 2007, 9:22 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:25 AM

The government will base its decision on the recommendations, to be submitted by the Manila-based Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment (TFAIR).

The TFAIR was created on August 1, 2006 following growing reports of Filipinos being victimised by illegal recruiters.

Phillip Dela Cruz, State Prosecutor at Philippine's Department of Justice and a member of the Commission on Filipino Overseas' TFAIR, visited Dubai recently to conduct a preliminary study on the extent of reported cases of illegal Filipino workers here. Talking to Khaleej Times while in Dubai, Cruz said his visit aimed at determining probable solutions to the problem of illegal Filipino workers.

During his four-day visit to Dubai, Cruz worked with the Philippine Consulate General to collect relevant data.

Cruz said some Filipinos were indeed abusing the visit visa rules and added: "We may recommend stricter rules to ensure that no Filipino on visit visa leaves for Dubai without a valid two-way ticket."

Cruz said that besides him, there were other members of the task force as well, who were simultaneously conducting studies in Italy, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan, where illegal recruitment of Filipinos is rampant.

"Illegal recruitment not only causes economic loss for us, but also leads to exploitation of a large number of Filipinos staying abroad," Cruz added.

Cruz, however, conceded their biggest problem was the lack of cooperation from the complainants themselves. "First they file complaints. But when we summon them, they fail to appear in the courts to testify," he lamented.

In the Philippines, individuals found guilty of violating recruitment law face a jail term of 12 to 20 years.

"At the moment, capital punishment is suspended in the Philippines. But if it were not suspended, illegal recruiters would have faced death sentence," Cruz pointed out.

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