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Undocumented workers repatriated from UAE share tales of woe

A hundred OFWs made it home on Thursday morning after they were granted amnesty by the United Arab Emirates government.

Some of the stories behind the tearful reunions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 were featured on Athena Imperial’s 24 Oras report.

Amy Paz, one of the undocumented OFWs, was emotional as she is reunited with family after a long time.

“Kasi salbahe ang amo ko. Salbahe. Umalis na lang ako, natrabaho-tabaho sa labas,” she said. “Eh kailangan ng pera gawa ng mga anak.”

Lola Marilou, who works as a domestic helper in Dubai, was just thankful to be back home after 11 years. She no longer has a working visa.

“Ngayon, wala na (working visa). May five years na may visa, tapos six years wala,” she said.

Repatriation was also timely for Joel Catamora, who said the company he was working for had closed and he had no means to pay his absconding fees.

“Siyempre, wala akong pambayad sa penalty. Ang mahal ng penalty…Nasa mga P16,000,” he said.

According to the report, the UAE is third in the list of top destinations for OFWs.

The DFA said a total of 626,389 Filipinos were in the UAE as of June 2017.

In Dubai, there are 379, 285 documented or temporary migrants while there are 30,360 irregular or undocumented Pinoy migrants.

The OFWs arrived past 10 a.m. on a plan trip sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The same agency also distributed welfare assistance of up to $100.

The DFA is looking to repatriate over a hundred more OFWs who took advantage of the three-month amnesty deal offered by the UAE for overstaying and absconding OFWs in July.

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