Cacdac explained the government will try to send them home “by end of this year”.
The OFW were sent home on first come, first served basis as many are still housed in the shelter.
“It depends on who arrive at the shelter first and have their documents processed. We refer them also to UAE immigration authorities for the issuance of their exit visas,” he said.
According to Arriola, the process usually takes at least one to two weeks at most it may take a month of processing.
Some of those repatriated were charged by their employers but if they do not object the repatriation, processing of documents are easier, she added.
Citing the signing of the Philippine-UAE Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation this year, as well as the signing of the Law of Domestic Workers which is expected to take effect in November, Arriola and Cacdac are optimistic that cases of human trafficking and illegal recruitment will decrease.
“With the new law of the UAE, we are really hoping that cases of maltreatment and illegal entry will be lessened,”Arriola said.
Last October 5, the DFA also repatriated some 51 distressed Filipinos as a follow-up on their September 18 and 19 efforts of sending combined 79 others home.
Since May 2017, 545 distressed nationals were repatriated by the Embassy.
The repatriation program was part of the success of President Rodirgo Duterte’s agreement with the government of the Middle East during his April 2017 visit.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph wth report from PNA