THE oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has extended anew its amnesty program to allow thousands of
undocumented migrant workers, including Filipinos, to go home.
The extension is seen to benefit more than 6,000 undocumented Filipinos, who were not able to
avail themselves of the initial amnesty offer, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
DFA Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano conveyed the government’s appreciation to KSA Foreign
Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York last
“We really appreciate this gesture of the Saudi government that would allow us to bring home
many more of our kababayan (countrymen) who are still stranded there,” said Cayetano.
DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said the extension of the
program was in response to the request of the Philippines and other manpower-exporting nations.
“This is the extension to the initial 90-day amnesty given in March that was extended for 30
days and now extended for the second time,” according to Undersecretary Arriola.
Records show that a total of 8,467 undocumented Filipinos availed themselves of the Saudi
government’s initial amnesty offer and were repatriated in several batches by the DFA.
“Dapat samantalahin ng ating mga kababayan ang extension ng amnesty program ng gobyerno ng Saudi
Arabia para makauwi na sila na walang problema,” said a former overseas Filipino worker.
Concerned state agencies, like DFA, Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas
Employment Administration and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, ought to act now -- and fast.
They should explain to these undocumented Filipinos the benefits and pluses of availing
themselves of KSA’s amnesty offer.