Filipinos staying in Kish are doing fine

DUBAI - The current situation of Filipino expatriates in the UAE staying in Kish island is normal and manageable,

By Ramona Ruiz

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Published: Sat 3 Apr 2004, 10:55 AM

Last updated: Tue 10 Jan 2023, 10:03 AM

With most of them expecting to return to the UAE to work, disclosed Undersecretary Jose Brilliantes of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs' (DFA) Office of the Undersecretary on Migrant Workers' Affairs (OUMWA).

Mr Brilliantes said that this observation was based on the visit conducted by the legal and consular team to the Island last month. The team comprised of Bert Salvador, Shiela Solas and Eloisa Marmon who also visited Amman, Beirut and Teheran.

"The team had listed a number of names of Filipino nationals who are currently staying in Kish Island. There are an estimated 100 Filipinos there, but their situation is quite manageable in this beautiful island. Most of them are working there," he said, adding that most of them would normally wait for two to three days for their visas to be renewed.

Mr Brilliantes had earlier received a report from the Philippine Embassy in Teheran which confirmed that a number of Filipinos working in the UAE have been using Kish Island as a sanctuary for them to renew their UAE working permit.

Kish Island is a designated free trade zone and Iran is trying to promote it as a tourist destination. Prior to the UAE's decision to amend its visa regulations following the Kish Airline crash, the UAE-Kish route had earlier been popular with immigrant workers in the UAE who need to renew their residence papers and work permits.

Commenting on reports that prospective employers of some Filipinos in Kish have completely abandoned them and are currently stranded on the Island, he said: "These may be isolated cases, and the Philippine embassy is aware of such cases. The team has recommended that as soon as they return to the UAE and get regularised (with valid employment visas), these Filipinos should get in touch with the embassy. They should now be part of the system so they can be within the ambit of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)."

Help for expatriates

DUBAI -Informed sources told Khaleej Times on Friday that efforts from the private sector were underway to assist not only Filipinos, but even expatriates of other nationalities, mostly Asians, who have long been stranded in the Island, to get free airline tickets.

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