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KUWAIT CITY, June 6: A total of 20 undocumented Filipino children were repatriated on Monday morning to the Philippines on board Kuwait Airways, as part of the joint cooperation between the Kuwait government and Philippine Embassy in Kuwait led by Philippine Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa to curb the rising number of undocumented kids.
Most of the undocumented children were born out of wedlock while others had no residence visa as the residence visa of their parents have expired. On the other hand, some of them have been separated from parents who are serving time in jail while a few were left behind by their mothers who were repatriated earlier to the Philippines.
“The repatriation of undocumented kids continues and once again, we would like to thank the Ministry of Interior, the Kuwait Immigration Department for helping the embassy in repatriating the kids. We have been repatriating undocumented kids every month. Out of the 20 kids, three of them were totally abandoned by their parents,” stated Philippine Social Welfare Attache Nilda Oliva.
The 20 repatriates together with their parents or guardians did not have to pass through the ‘Talha’ or deportation centre but headed directly to the airport where they were accompanied by the embassy’s Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATNU) team led by Oliva and Case Officer Salahodin Tomas Magayan and Kuwait Immigration officials who assisted them at the airport check-in counter. “We urge all Filipino nationals who have undocumented kids to come forward and visit us at the embassy. Don’t be afraid. We will not put you into trouble. You will not be jailed. We will try all our best to assist you with the help of the Kuwait government. Think of the future of your kids,” appealed Oliva.
She added that undocumented children fall in four categories such as those who were totally abandoned by their parents; separated from mother or father who is in jail; born out of wedlock; and those whose mother or father fail to meet the salary requirement for family visa. “I would like to thank the Philippine Embassy for helping me bring home my kid to the Philippines. I’m very happy that we’re finally going home,” stated one of the mothers who has an eight-month old baby born out of wedlock.
The Philippine Embassy urged all parents or guardians of undocumented Filipino children in Kuwait to take advantage of this and go home to the Philippines. All those who want to bring their children home may enlist at the embassy shelter in Hateen for the processing of their travel documents and clearance. The embassy shelter is located at Block 2, Street 217, Villa 42 or they may call the embassy repatriation hotline +96598005115 for all the requirements.
By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff