Bishops’ group urges OFWs in UAE to join amnesty program

MANILA The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines - Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) on Friday urged Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to take advantage of the three-month amnesty program being offered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to foreign workers.

CBCP-ECMI chairman Bishop Ruperto Santos said Filipino workers there should immediately legalize their stay in the host country.

It is very beneficial and a blessing for our undocumented OFWs to correct their immigration status or repatriate without penalty to our country, Santos said in a statement.

This three-month amnesty is a very consoling and compassionate move of UAE, the Balanga prelate added.

At the same time, Santos lauded the humanitarian initiative of the Arab State.

As we, CBCP-ECMI, express our gratitude and appreciate the humanitarian gesture of UAE, we also appeal to our OFWs to avail of this amnesty so as to regularize their residency status or enable to seek new employment status, he said.

Our OFWs are very much known with their 3H's that is honest, hardworking and helpful to one another. Let us be grateful to them and pray for them always for safety and secure living and working conditions, the CBCP-ECMI chief added.

Last Wednesday, the UAE began offering the three-month amnesty period for foreign workers who have overstayed their visa, to leave the country without any legal repercussion.

Illegal migrant workers are being fined daily for overstaying their permits and are prevented from leaving until they pay the penalties.

The amnesty program ends on October 31. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency