Sunday, February 3, 2008

Migrante urges immediate repatriation of stranded Filipinos in Jeddah

News Release 1
03 February 2008

Migrante urges immediate repatriation of stranded Filipinos in Jeddah

Migrante Saudi Arabia today urged the Arroyo government to work for the immediate repatriation of at least 111 Filipinos in Jeddah, majority of whom trooped to the Philippine Consulate this morning.

"We believe the government can do more than force the stranded Pinoys to go back to square one by working for 'due process' as what the Philippine Consulate here has been asking them to," said A. M. Ociones, Chairperson of the Saudi Arabia Chapter of MIGRANTE International.

"We believe it is the height of callousness to ask them to go through the same process that forced them to camp out under the bridge in the first place," Ociones adds.

Stranded migrant workers from different countries usually camps out under Kandara Bridge in Jeddah. Of late, the said bridge became a virtual tent city due to the volume of migrants waiting for repatriation, including Filipinos, many of whom were duped by agents or fixers peddling immediate access to the so-called 'backdoor' (Please see attached photo from under the bridge).

Migrante KSA's Rights and Welfare Committee recorded at least 111 kababayans waiting for their shot at repatriation in Jeddah alone, including those who trooped to the Philippine Consulate today and the women at the Welfare Center.

The group under the bridge included 18 women and one 2 1/2 year old child.

"The government has succeeded in mass repatriation just a few months before, so why not now?" Ociones asks. "Now is the time to again prove that the government's concern for the welfare of the OFWs is not all talk."

Migrante International is an alliance of Filipino organizations asserting the rights and welfare of migrants and their families all over the world.


A. M. Ociones, Chairperson
Migrante ~ Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Chapter
Tel. No.: +966-56-679-3202

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