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Embassy doing everything for Pinoys in ‘Talha’: Dado MP allegation denied

KUWAIT CITY, April 22: “The embassy is doing everything for the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) in the deportation centre with daily official communication to the chiefs of the male and female deportation centres and regular visits to them. The normal process of deportation is ongoing at all times with the Filipinos being repatriated on a regular basis,” disclosed Philippine Consul General Atty Raul H Dado on Tuesday in reaction to the statement of Kuwaiti MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari, member of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, that Indian and Filipino nationals constitute the largest number of expatriates in the “Talha” or deportation jail compared to other nationalities due to the lack of concern of their embassies in completing the procedures for their repatriation.

Al-Kandari whose statement was reported on local dailies on Monday claimed that the Philippine embassy has not cooperated with Kuwaiti authorities to complete the deportation procedures for Filipino nationals locked up in the facilities.

Sometimes it takes time. With the patience of all concerned including the ones in the deportation centres, the procedure will eventually be faster. All parties are committed to this. It’s a collective effort of the embassy, the Kuwait government and the Filipino people in Kuwait,” reiterated Dado. The embassy has expressed gratitude to the Kuwait government for its humanitarian assistance in repatriating its workers home. “Kuwait has maintained its commitment in sending our workers to the Philippines. The Philippines works with Kuwait on this situation everyday,” stressed Dado. Meanwhile, Philippine Labour Attache to Kuwait Atty Cesar Chavez Jr also asserted that the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) together with the embassy has been coordinating actively with the Kuwaiti immigration authorities to speed up the repatriation of distressed OFWs.

Duties
“I fully respect the statement and observation made by MP Al-Kandari. But I wish to reiterate that we have never been remiss of our duties in attending to our wards at the embassy’s shelter especially those in the deportation centres. Maybe, coincidentally, it just so happened that the deportation centre was full of Filipinos during their surprise visit,” he stated. He added that those who run to the embassy to seek refuge after escaping various forms of maltreatment from their employers are endorsed to the Kuwaiti immigration authorities after processing their travel documents and undergoing fingerprint procedures.

“Those who can be repatriated via normal flight are being sent home immediately but those who have absconding cases have to be endorsed to the deportation centre per Kuwaiti law. From our end, as soon as we endorse them to the authorities, it’s now the task of the Kuwaiti authorities to schedule their repatriation,” he explained. He clarified that those undocumented OFWs caught during random checking and put into jail, the embassy also processes their travel documents as soon as they are informed by concerned Kuwaiti authorities or whenever embassy or POLO officials see Filipinos in the deportation centre during their regular visit there. “It’s been always a joint effort between the embassy and Kuwaiti authorities with regard to the continuous repatriation process of distressed OFWs or those who are in the deportation centre,” stated Chavez.

 


By: Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff

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