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88 Filipino amnesty-seekers to leave UAE on August 15

Angel Tesorero /Dubai
Filed on August 7, 2018 | Last updated on August 7, 2018 at 05.57 pm
Cortes pegged the cost of sending home an overstaying Filipino at Dh2,200 each.- Photo by Angel Tesorero
Cortes pegged the cost of sending home an overstaying Filipino at Dh2,200 each.- Photo by Angel Tesorero

The Philippine Consulate also booked one-way tickets (DXB-MNL) for the returning Filipinos.

A total of 152 overstaying Filipinos were given an exit pass in the first three working days (August 1, 2 and 5) of the 90-day immigration amnesty programme, Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes told Khaleej Times on Tuesday.

No exact amount was given but hundreds of thousands of dirhams in overstaying fines were waived by the UAE government while the Consulate paid for the exit permits, including the Dh221 for an outpass and Dh521 fee for lifting the absconding case to clear the name of the overstaying expat from the immigration list and letting the person return to the UAE without travel ban.

The Philippine Consulate also booked one-way tickets (DXB-MNL) for the returning Filipinos. "Out of the 152 amnesty-seekers, 93 were given free tickets. The rest were not aware that we are providing them with free tickets. Some of them had their tickets booked a month before. Unfortunately, we cannot refund the fare due to restrictions in the Philippine government auditing rules," Cortes said.

He explained that the booking should be done by the Consulate. Cortes added that out of the 93 who were given free tickets, five were minors who will travel with their respective guardians.

The first batch of 88 returning Filipinos will fly out of Dubai on August 15 via Philippine Airlines flight PR 659, which will take off from DXB Terminal 1 at 7:35pm and will arrive at 8:15am the following day (Manila time) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, where they will be met by officials from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Cortes pegged the cost of sending home an overstaying Filipino at Dh2,200 each, including the cost of air fare and exit permits. Khaleej Times earlier reported that, according to a source at the Philippine Consulate, around 5,000 overstaying Filipinos are expected to avail of the amnesty programme and would probably go back home. At a cost of Dh2,200 (fees and plane ticket) per person, the Philippine government is set to shell out at least Dh11 million, which will be taken from the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) funds.

Cortes added that an undisclosed amount of welfare assistance will be provided to the returning Filipinos while the DFA officials in Manila will assist them in their travel from the airport to their respective hometowns or provinces.

"We are glad that the first batch of Filipinos are finally going home and will be reunited with their loved ones and respective families. We are very happy that the UAE government has given them a chance to return to the Philippines through the amnesty programme by waiving the overstaying fees. We, at the Philippine Consulate, are also happy to be part of bringing our kababayans (compatriots) back home through the DFA funding," Cortes said.

He added: "We want to assure our kababayans that all assistance will be given to them to the full extent. And for those who will prefer to stay in the country and rectify their residency status, we will also provide them with utmost assistance in documentation. But we would like to remind them to fulfil the necessary documents such as birth certificate to get a passport."

angel@khaleejtimes.com  

 


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