PGMA to fly home with 120 illegal OFWs

September 23, 2009 12:31 pm 

JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sept. 23 – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will fly home on Wednesday (Jeddah time) with 120 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are charged with violations of immigration laws and then released by the Saudi Arabian government.

In her speech before some 600 members of the Filipino community at the Habitat Hotel here, the President expressed hopes that other OFWs will be repatriated after their problems are resolved.

The President recalled that since her previous state visit to the Kingdom in 2006, the King has pardoned 700 jailed OFWs.

The President also ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the case of 300 OFWs under the Khandara bridge.

Of the 300 OFWs, 100 have been deported to the Philippines. The papers of the remaining 200, who are mostly male, are still being worked out and should be able to fly home after the Eid’el Fitr.

The President underscored the need for DOLE to strictly implement reforms which protect OFWs, particularly household workers. These reforms are: the minimum monthly wage, which was increased from US0 to US0; the no-placement fee policy; the mandatory skills certification to ensure OFWs can perform household jobs; and the basic culture pre-departure orientation that should enable the workers to adjust to their working environment. (PNA)

DCT/OPS/utb

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