More than 100 Filipinos who were granted amnesty by the government of the United Arab Emirates have returned home. On Thursday morning, a total of 105 Filipinos, including six children, arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Manila.
The Department of Foreign Affairs sponsored their flights and immigration fees, GMA News reported.
One Filipina, Lola Marilou, said she worked as a maid in Dubai for 11 years. She said she worked legally for five years as she had a work visa, but stayed in the city illegally for six years.
Amy Paz, another domestic worker, said she absconded from her employer who treated her badly. Paz said she worked illegally to provide financial support for her children.
According to Paul Raymund Cortes, the Consul-General at the Philippine Consulate in Dubai, the Philippine government was covering the costs of Filipinos who applied for the amnesty. The government was also paying for plane tickets and exit paper fees, which cost about US$625 per person, The National reported.
The UAE’s amnesty program will last until October 31. Filipinos staying in the country illegally are encouraged to make use of the amnesty to fix their status or return to the Philippines without paying any overstaying fines.