By Roy Mabasa
A crackdown will be launched by the Kuwaiti government after the April 22 deadline for the amnesty extension for overstaying undocumented migrant workers has lapsed.
This was the warning aired by Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa as he reiterated the appeal to undocumented Filipino workers in Kuwait to register as soon as possible so they could be immediately be flown home
According to Villa, after April 22, Kuwaiti authorities will make house-to-house searches to determine who have not availed of the amnesty program.
Those who will be caught will be immediately arrested, fined and will be banned to enter Kuwait.
“It takes at least 10 days to process the documents of our kababayans and get the necessary clearances from Kuwaiti authorities before we can put them on the plane to Manila,” Villa said.
“Filipinos always want to do things at the last minute but in this case, we cannot be expected to handle a deluge of applications especially during the last few days of the amnesty period,” he added.
Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs gave undocumented Filipinos in Kuwait until April 12 to register themselves for repatriation.
The deadline was issued after the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait reported a drop in the number of undocumented Filipino workers registering for repatriation following the announcement of a two-month extension that will expire on April 22.
According to the DFA, a total of 4,100 Filipinos have been flown home since January 29 when the embassy started repatriating undocumented workers who availed themselves of Kuwait’s amnesty program.
Around 6,000 undocumented workers still have not signed up for repatriation.