Philippine Embassy ‘Issues’ 16-Pt Advisory For Filipinos
Undocumented OFWs Told To Get Travel Documents
By: Michelle Fe Santiago
First posted in Arab Times
KUWAIT CITY, June 15: The Philippine Em-bassy led by Charge d’ Affaires Atty Raul H Dado urged the Filipino community to remain calm and sought everyone’s cooperation in disseminating the correct information amid the ongoing massive crackdown on illegal residents in Kuwait. He also reminded all Fili-pinos to follow the laws of the host country.
Dado during a meeting with the Filipino community leaders on Thursday outlined the current situation and discussed the measures to be adopted by the embassy together with the Philippine Overseas Labour Office led by Labour Attache David Des Dicang after their meeting with the Kuwaiti authorities.
Dado and Dicang announced during the meeting that the Philippine Embassy and the POLO-OWWA are ready to help all undocumented Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) go home by expediting their travel documents and endorsing them to the Kuwait Immigration authorities.
The two Philippine officials requested the Filipino community leaders particularly the president of each organisation to help in the distribution of travel document application to undocumented OFWs or those who have no iqama. “We are indeed facing ‘unusual times’ but these too shall pass as we call on everyone to cooperate with us. In case of an emergency, please contact the embassy hotline 55952909,” stated Dado.
He stressed that to those who have been overstaying in Kuwait or with no residence permit and want to go home, they can go to the embassy and apply for a travel document. “Please do not hesitate to come to the embassy. They can go to the POLO for further instructions on how to complete the travel documents. Rest assured that we will help you on this. The travel document is free of charge,” he pointed out.
In light of the recent developments, Dado after meeting with the Filipino community leaders, issued on Saturday a Sixteen-Point Advisory of 15 June 2013 that contains guidelines for Filipinos to follow. Below is the advisory from the Philippine Embassy:
1. Don’t panic. These events will pass. Community leaders will explain these guidelines to their members.
2. Those with legal papers should not worry. Avoid unnecessary trips at anytime.
3. For those overstaying, respect the laws of Kuwait. To return to the Philippines, follow the normal process of exiting through Kuwait immigration.
4. The embassy and POLO are working with immigration officials to speed up this process.
5. For those overstaying, the embassy will issue travel documents free to return to the Philippines. Consult with the POLO on what to do with the travel documents.
6. For those with valid papers, present your civil IDs, passports and other identifications to the checking police calmly.
7. The highest Kuwait police and immigration officials of the Great State of Kuwait have given their personal commitments to me and to Labor Attache David Des DIcang that no one will be harmed during the checkings. Children will be safe.
8. We are in constant communication with these officials.
9. If anyone encounters problems, please contact our embassy hotlines posted on Facebook and on our website.
10. Our roving teams will go to you at anytime during the day or night. We have teams in all the governorates of Kuwait.
11. Remember the following:
A. Ride only with family members.
B. Bachelors should stay only with bachelors. They should not stay with married couples or families.
C. Unmarried couples should not stay together.
D. For the meantime, avoid Viber, Tango, and other similar applications. These have been considered as security violations for now.
E. Explain to police the nature and location of your jobs, if your actual address is not the one in your civil IDs.
12. Labor Attache David Des Dicang and I will be on the radio and in the media to explain constantly. Stay with us.
14. Our President, Vice-president, Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of Labor, through the embassy and the POLO, send their assurances that all times, you will be brought to safety and the company of your loved ones.
15. These events will pass. Use your common sense at all times. Adapt.
16. For the Filipino community and media in Kuwait, I express my deepest gratitude and admiration for your courage and seek your steadfast cooperation in the following weeks.
For now, in the words of Winston Churchill, “ This is our finest hour.”