OFWs urged to remain calm over Saudi-Syria conflict; amnesty for undocumented in Kuwait

(Photo: mb.com.ph)

The Philippine embassy in Riyadh recently urged Filipinos to remain calm amid the worsening conflict between Saudi Arabia and Syria.

“There is no reason to be concerned about the security of Filipinos in Saudi Arabia,” the embassy said.
The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Syria sparked fears for the safety of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East.

The embassy said it would provide regular updates on the situation in Saudi Arabia as the need arises. There are around 1.2 million Filipinos in Saudi Arabia.

The embassy issued the statement after OFW groups appealed to the government to prepare them for repatriation if the security situation in the Middle East worsens.

Saudi Arabia said it is ready to deploy ground troops to Syria to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant if US-led coalition leaders agree to the offer.

Thousands of illegally deployed and overstaying OFWs in Kuwait face deportation, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) also said.

POEA chief Hans Cacdac said the Kuwaiti government is implementing a crackdown on illegal foreign migrants, including OFWs.

“Those who will be caught by security personnel will be deported and banned from returning to Kuwait,” Cacdac said.

However, he said the Kuwaiti government is offering an amnesty for illegal foreign workers.

“Residency law violators will be allowed to pay their fines so they can either legalize their status or leave the country without being blacklisted,” explained the POEA official.

Cacdac said only foreign workers who would avail themselves of amnesty would not be deported and be allowed to return to Kuwait.

He advised undocumented Filipino workers in Kuwait to hasten the rectification of their illegal status. There are around 6,000 undocumented Filipinos in Kuwait.

The Philippine embassy in Kuwait has issued guidelines on the amnesty program, said Cacdac. (MCA)