Around 100 overstaying overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have finally returned home after being granted amnesty by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government this month.
The OFWs arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from Dubai Thursday morning, GMA News report said.
Their airline tickets, absconding and immigration fees were shouldered by the Philippine government as part of the mass repatriation program for amnesty beneficiaries which is expected to last until October.
Aside from the free flight, the OFWs were also handed out $100 (AED 367) at the Dubai airport as welfare assistance. The documentation process was personally supervised by Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes.
Among the returning OFWs is Crispina Jamero who worked as a household helper and overstayed in UAE for five years. She ended up working as part-time cleaner to support her family in the Philippines.
“My eldest daughter graduated this year and garnered the seventh spot in the Criminologist licensure exam last June. My youngest is also graduating from college this year,” the teary-eyed Jamero told Gulf News.
“As for me, I will happily retire in the Philippines and take care of my first grandson who is now seven months old,” she added.
Another amnesty beneficiary, 55-year-old Wevenia Nama, said she was grateful to the UAE which had been her home for 20 years; spending the last five years without proper documents.
“I was able to build a small house where I will retire. My meagre income also helped support my child’s education. I’m happy and grateful; it was a challenging yet wonderful time,” Nama narrated.
The UAE amnesty program started this August and will continue until October.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has advised overstaying Filipinos in UAE to go to the Philippine Consulate or visit pcgdubai.ae to avai of the offer.