MANILA – A total of 51 distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arrived here Wednesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Their repatriation, funded by the department, brings the total number of Filipinos repatriated from Abu Dhabi to 702 since January 2018.
In welcoming the OFWs home, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the agency will continue assisting Filipinos abroad.
“President Duterte’s marching order to the DFA is crystal clear: that we always fight for Filipinos wherever they are in the world,” he said in a statement.
“Rain or shine, the DFA and other government agencies will do their best to address your concerns as you reunite with your loved ones in your respective hometowns,” he added.
Charge d’Affaires Rowena Pangilinan-Daquipil of the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi said the latest batch arrived in the UAE as tourists and found work. However, they eventually left their sponsors or agencies due to maltreatment, abuse, and non-payment of salaries.
With the signing of the UAE Law for Domestic Workers and the Philippines-UAE Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation in 2017, the envoy expressed hope that incidents of abuse, maltreatment, detention, and other complaints by Filipino domestic workers would drop significantly.
Meanwhile, she assured the embassy is working closely with local authorities to further address concerns raised by overseas Filipino workers, especially Household Service Workers in UAE.
To date, there are about 626,000 Filipinos in the UAE, nearly 217,000 of whom are living or working in Abu Dhabi. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora/PNA-northboundasia.com