VP Binay says there is no need for OFWs to join camp out

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay joined the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in saying that there is no need for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to join thecamp out at the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah in order to be given assistance by the Consulate for repatriation.

“Hindi na po ninyo kailangang sumama doon para tulungan kayo ng ating konsulado. Sapat na po na makipag-ugnayan kayo sa mga kinauukulan at isumite ang mga kinakailangang dokumento na hinihingi nila,” Binay said.

Binay said the Consulate already had several dialogues with OFWs and said the Consulate just needs to look into each of the cases individually to enable them to provide the appropriate assistance.

“Pinaghihiwala-hiwalay muna nila iyong walang problema at iyong may problema. Iyong mga walang problema ang sabi ng embahada huwag tayong mag-alala dahil iyong mga walang problema eh talaga namang pinipilit nila na makabalik na sa lalong madaling panahon,” he added.

The Vice President said the Consulate already received information from 703 of the campers and that the Consulate is preparing a matrix showing the names, passport number, iqama number, information about their employers and other needed information for submission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The matrix includes not only the campers who have submitted the information needed but also other runaway or undocumented OFWs who have earlier sought the assistance of the Consulate for repatriation.

“Ang problema naman doon hindi naman basta-basta ka makaka-alis doon sa Saudi.  ‘Yang mga gustong makauwi, karamihan diyan o kung hindi man lahat iyan hindi makakalabas ng Saudi dahil sa hindi makakuha ng exit permit,” Binay said.

“Kung tumakas iyan sa employer, ang employer na iyon ay gumastos sa pagpunta nila hindi makakalabas iyan, hindi magbibigay ng permiso para makalabas. Pangalawa, may utang sila sa gobyerno, palibhasa TNT o Tago Ng Tago, overstaying na sila diyan. Meron silang dapat bayaran sa pamahalaan ng Saudi,” he added.

Binay said the Consulate will continue to accept narrations and information not only from the campers but from all undocumented and runaway OFWs seeking the Consulate’s assistance for repatriation.

According to the Vice President, the Consulate will be putting up a billboard outside the Consulate where advisories will be posted in order to give updates on the efforts to repatriate the undocumented OFWs. Aside from updates, the advisories also provide clarifications on information about repatriation.

He also explained that the repatriation in Saudi is different from last year’s forced repatriation in Syria

“Iyong galing sa Syria, may mga utang din ito sa gobyerno kaya hindi mabigyan ng exit permit. Pero sapagkat iyong Syria dumating sa lebel ng ‘forced repatriation’ eh inako na ng gobyerno iyong dapat bayaran na exit permit,” he said.

“In this case, wala namang danger dito para magkaroon ng forced repatriation. So kailangan nating balikan kung papaano sila nakapasok ng walang dokumento,” Binay added.#