Undocumented OFWs advised to seek assistance-A A +A
Sunday, January 26, 2014
UNDOCUMENTED Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Malaysia were advised to undergo voluntary exit proceedings and seek assistance from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in the light of the government of Malaysia's plan to implement a crackdown on undocumented foreign nationals, which started last January 21, 2014.
"In an effort to solve its problem of the presence of illegal foreigners, Malaysia is going after undocumented foreign workers. But this should not cause panic among overseas Filipino workers in that country especially if they possess complete and authentic immigration documents," said Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.
She added, "Our Polo in Malaysia is ready to assist OFWs who may not only have documentation problems but also problems arising from their work."
Baldoz also reminded OFWs there to always carry with them their work permits or passports with valid visa, in the event that they have to undergo immigration inspections.
Malaysian authorities have indicated that those who will leave voluntarily will not be persecuted but will have to pay fines for overstaying.
But, those who will be arrested will undergo deportation proceedings and will be detained for the time being. They will also be subjected to a biometric fingerprint registration to ensure that they cannot enter the country again under a different name.
With this, Baldoz warned Filipinos who are in Malaysia for a vacation, or for a short visit but who intend to seek employment, not to fall prey to individuals who claim can convert their Social Visit Passes into work in exchange for money.
“We will never get tired of reminding everyone that if they are planning to work abroad, make sure that they do it the right and legal way to avoid any inconveniences," Baldoz said.
The Philippine Embassy in Malaysia said that aside from Filipinos other nationals from Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Laos, Vietnam, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, India, and Bangladesh are most likely to be affected by the crackdown. (FP/Sunnex)