MANILA, April 7: The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait reminded that more than 6,000 overstaying Filipinos in Kuwait have only six days left to register for the amnesty program extended by Kuwait.
Speaking at the embassy on Thursday, Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa warned that those who fail to register for the amnesty face arrest, fine, and a “lifetime ban” in Kuwait.
“Since the amnesty program started in January and was extended in February until April 22, about 4,100 Filipinos have already been repatriated,” he said.
After the extension was announced, Villa said the number of overstaying Filipinos who had registered has dwindled, at times even to zero a day.
“Our appeal, since according to the data of Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior that there are more than 10,000 overstaying and runaway Filipinos, the remaining 6,000 should now rush to register for amnesty,” he said.
For her part, Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said 4,149 Filipinos have already been repatriated with the agency’s disbursement of its Assistance-to-Nationals fund.
Meanwhile, there are 6,651 overstaying Filipinos who have not yet registered under the Kuwaiti reprieve.
In a recent statement, Arriola said the April 12 deadline set by the embassy is necessary to meet the April 22 deadline given by Kuwait.
Villa said that the crackdown starts after April 22. Local authorities will begin their house-to-house operations to identify who are legitimate workers and who are not.
“Those found to have overstayed, or did not apply for an amnesty would be arrested and jailed. They would pay a fine and would have a ‘lifetime ban’ in Kuwait,” he said.
Cash assistance and livelihood programs await repatriated Filipinos from the Gulf state.
The ongoing registration is held at the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait, Block 1, Street 101, Villa 817 cor. Abdullah Abdul Azis Al Humaidi St., Al Siddeeq Area, South Surrah, Kuwait. (Source PNA)