Embassy pledge

THE Philippine Embassy is planning to soon launch its second mass repatriation programme. The move is part of its ongoing effort to keep a check on undocumented workers or those without proper paperwork.It is negotiating with all stakeholders, mainly employers and companies, to co-operate regarding the repatriation process, an embassy spokesman told the GDN.

“In August, we repatriated 39 people, majority of which were domestic workers,” he said.

The spokesman said that they were hopeful that soon they would be able to send more Philippine nationals as part of its mass repatriation programme, which was also in line with the Easy Exit campaign launched by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).

Under the programme, all illegal workers can leave Bahrain without paying the accumulated late fees for not renewing their residence permit.

The embassy is co-ordinating with the local immigration authorities to keep a check on undocumented workers.

Work and entry visas and employment contracts of Filipino women are also being verified by embassy officials.

“We encourage all Philippine nationals to visit the embassy for any queries,” said the spokesman.

Based on government figures, about 45,000 Filipinos work in Bahrain.

This number is growing, with skilled professionals and workers reportedly in high demand, he said.

However, with the increasing numbers, there has also been a rise in undocumented case, added the spokesman.

Last year, the embassy announced it would no longer process Affidavits of Support to their nationals inviting Filipinos on a tourist visa.

This followed increasing cases of workers, especially females, coming in to work with these tourist visas and later classified as ‘undocumented workers’, according to the embassy.

It said the affidavits would only be issued to people invited as members of the applicant’s immediate family such as spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters.

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