6:50 am | Saturday, November 9th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday said that Saudi Arabia’s labor authorities have assured overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who failed to beat the Nov. 3 deadline to fix their status but had started the process that will not be arrested as long as there are no violations.
Binay, in a statement, said he raised Manila’s concerns about the stranded OFWs with Bahrain’s labor minister, Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan, concurrent chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Council of Labor Ministers, who was in Manila on official visit.
Humaidan, accompanied by the Philippines’ special envoy to the GCC, Amable Aguiluz V, paid a courtesy call on the Vice President on Wednesday.
“Upon recommendation of Aguiluz to [me], the minister called Saudi deputy labor minister, Mr. Mufreg Al-Haqbani, appealing not to make arrests nor harm those who are found not having travel documents,” Binay said.
“Subsequently, Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago received a message from the labor deputy minister Mr. Al-Haqbani giving assurance that Filipinos will be treated well while processing their exit visas,” Binay said.
According to Binay, Tago reiterated his appeal to Filipinos in the kingdom to remain calm because the Philippine government was ready to provide appropriate assistance
In addition, Filipinos who have not yet enlisted for processing of their exit visas were advised by Tago to contact the embassy or the Philippine Overseas Labor Office as the process for the exit visa will resume next week, Binay added.
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