On Wednesday (August 21), a total of 63 undocumented OFWs in Kuwait were repatriated under the Embassy Assisted Repatriation Program (EARP) by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait in cooperation with the Kuwait government.
The EARP, which was formerly known as the Assisted Voluntary Repatriation Program (AVRP) is a mutual agreement between the Kuwait government and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait that seeks to curtail the rising number of illegal foreign workers in the Gulf state.
63 Undocumented Pinoy Workers from Kuwait Return to PH
In a statement, the DFA said that it welcomes the arrival of 63 undocumented OFWs from Kuwait under the EARP. Moreover, through the assistance of the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA), these workers were able to return home to their respective provinces for free.
The DFA also noted that most of the undocumented Filipino workers repatriated were household service workers and victims of physical abuse, food deprivation, and late monthly salary.
Commenting on the initiative, newly posted Philippine Vice Consul to Kuwait, Adrian Baccay, Head of the Assistance to National Unit (ATNU) and Administrative Officer at the Philippine Embassy shared: “This EARP is part of the continuing program of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait to help distressed OFWs. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) shouldered all the air tickets to Manila under the one-billion-peso Assistance to Nationals fund of the DFA. Then 29 of the 63 were also given free tickets onward to their home province.”
During the Embassy procedure, Baccay and some embassy staff ensured the smooth check-in procedures and safe boarding of the repatriates at the Kuwait International Airport.
He added, “On behalf of Charge d’ Affaires Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot, we would like to thank the Kuwaiti government, in particular, the CID Immigration and all the other Kuwaiti government agencies involved in this particular repatriation.”
One of the 63 repatriates, “Marlyn” (not her real name) shared “My first employer sold me to another employer then my second employer did not give me a day off and I got very sick due to overwork so I sought the help of the embassy.”
Marlyn had been an undocumented OFW for two years after absconding from her previous employer.
Baccay noted that this is the fifth batch of repatriates under the EARP and that a total of 264 undocumented OFWs had gone home this year under the EARP.
He also reminded his kababayans in distress who need assistance from the Embassy to call the EARP hotline +965 9800 5115 on Viber or WhatsApp for the processing of their travel documents and exit clearance so that they can go back home in peace.