PH consulate in Dubai to assist more OFWs this year

Dubai, UAE – Officials at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates (PCG-DNE) gladly announced that with the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) new guidelines on the use of the more than P1-billion in funds to assist Filipinos who encounter emergencies and other problems abroad, more Filipinos in its jurisdiction will receive better and quicker assistance.

The new guidelines prepared by the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs (OFMWF) and was signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in December last year, a few days after the House of Congress approved President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to increase the Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) Fund from P400 million to P1 billion and the Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) from P100 million to P200 million for 2018.

At a recent press conference following the renewal of the consulate’s legal retainer agreement with a Dubai-based law firm, Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes said that the expanded LAF, more Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates will be assisted.

A free weekly legal consultation is provided by the law firm at the consulate as part of its legal retainer. In some cases, the law firm also makes legal representations for overseas Filipinos (OFs) at the Dubai courts.

“I am expecting more Filipinos to be seeking assistance from us with the heightened awareness about (the expanded ATN Fund and LAF),” said Cortes.

In a summary prepared by Vice Consul Marianne Bringas, head of the consulate’s ATN section, a total of 6,004 Filipinos have availed of the ATN services in 2017, including that of 1,1137 distressed Filipinos. About 1,269 of them have been repatriated.

The consulate has also provided legal assistance to Filipinos for various cases like bank/money, drugs, immorality, breach of trust, and immigration to a total of 4,867 Filipinos last year.

“As far as representation is concerned, cases vary from bank cases, to immorality, to non-payment of dues, etc. Every case consulted to us by a client is always subject to assessment (and approval by the home office),” Bringas, told members of the media during the conference.

The Philippine diplomatic mission with a total of 44 personnel, serving a total of 421,686 OFs in its jurisdiction (Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Kaimah, Umm Al Quwain), has disbursed a total of USD336,447.00 from the legal assistance fund (LAF) and a total of USD809,302.00 from the ATN Fund for Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, in 2017.

A free weekly legal consultation is provided by the law firm at the consulate as part of its legal retainer. In some cases, the law firm also makes legal representations for overseas Filipinos (OFs) at the Dubai courts.

“I am expecting more Filipinos to be seeking assistance from us with the heightened awareness about (the expanded ATN Fund and LAF),” said Cortes.

In a summary prepared by Vice Consul Marianne Bringas, head of the consulate’s ATN section, a total of 6,004 Filipinos have availed of the ATN services in 2017, including that of 1,1137 distressed Filipinos. About 1,269 of them have been repatriated.

The consulate has also provided legal assistance to Filipinos for various cases like bank/money, drugs, immorality, breach of trust, and immigration to a total of 4,867 Filipinos last year.

“As far as representation is concerned, cases vary from bank cases, to immorality, to non-payment of dues, etc. Every case consulted to us by a client is always subject to assessment (and approval by the home office),” Bringas, told members of the media during the conference.

The Philippine diplomatic mission with a total of 44 personnel, serving a total of 421,686 OFs in its jurisdiction (Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Kaimah, Umm Al Quwain), has disbursed a total of USD336,447.00 from the legal assistance fund (LAF) and a total of USD809,302.00 from the ATN Fund for Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, in 2017. -Henri Abenis-Macahilo/Newsline.ph

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