A total of 96 undocumented Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Kuwait were repatriated on Friday night to the Philippines on board Gulf Air as part of the ongoing mass repatriation of overstaying Filipinos under the Assisted Voluntary Repatriation Program (AVRP) by the Kuwait government in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait. The Assisted Voluntary Repatriation Program, a mutual agreement signed between the Kuwait government and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait seeks to address the rising number of illegal expatriates in Kuwait.
“The repatriation of undocumented OFWs continues and once again, we would like to thank the Ministry of Interior, the Kuwait Immigration Department for initiating this program and for helping the embassy in implementing this Assisted Voluntary Repatriation Program successfully,” stated Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa. The 96 repatriates under the AVRP did not have to pass through the ‘Talha’ or deportation centre but were transported from the embassy shelter in Hateen directly to the airport where they were accompanied by the embassy’s Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATNU) team led by Consul General Raul Dado and Kuwait Immigration officials who assisted them at the airport check-in counter. Ambassador Villa was also present at the airport to oversee the repatriation.
Most of the undocumented OFWs worked as Household Service Workers (HSWs) who left their employers after experiencing various forms of maltreatment such as physical, verbal or sexual abuse, non-payment of salaries, lack of food and overwork. The repatriates thanked the Kuwait government and the Philippine Embassy for processing all their travel documents. Last month, a total of 108 undocumented OFWs also went home under the AVRP.
The repatriation with no detention under the AVRP continues, hence, the Philippine Embassy urged all undocumented OFWs in Kuwait to take advantage of this and go home to the Philippines. All those who want to go home may enlist at the embassy shelter in Hateen for the processing of their travel documents and clearance. The embassy shelter is located at Block 2, Street 217, Villa 42 or they may call the embassy repatriation hotline +96598005115 for all the requirements under the AVRP.
Source: Arab Times