A first batch of at least 26 Filipinos who availed of an amnesty program in Oman have returned to the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday.
The DFA said the 26 Filipinos who arrived on April 18 are among 160 overstaying Filipino workers who applied for the amnesty program.
"The Embassy will continue to coordinate with the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs to repatriate the workers to the Philippines," it said in its website.
Earlier, the Omani Ministry of Manpower extended the deadline for illegal foreign workers in Oman to avail of the amnesty program until May 31.
The program requires illegal expatriate workers to leave the Sultanate without paying penalties for overstaying and for having expired or no labor identification cards, provided that they pay the costs of their one-way ticket to their countries of origin.
Names of those applying for amnesty will be published in widely-circulated newspapers before clearance for exit is given.
The publication aims to let interested parties, such as employers who have complaints or claims against the illegal workers, prevent their departure.
As deportees, the overstaying workers will not be allowed to return to Oman for at least two years.—JV, GMANews.TV