23 August 2010
In light of various media reports on the status of repatriation of Filipinos from Jeddah, especially those who stay at the Seaport Hajj Terminal as arranged by the Philippine Government, we wish to provide the public the following information and update.
- The repatriation of Filipinos is neither an amnesty nor is it mass repatriation. Those who enlist are voluntarily surrendering for deportation.
- From middle of June to the first week of August a total of 1125 enlisted for voluntary deportation. The breakdown is 341 males, 597 females, and 187 children.
- All adults are interviewed by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Jeddah (POLO Jeddah) prior to admission to the Seaport Hajj Terminal.
- Not all of the Filipinos stay at the Seaport Hajj Terminal. Some choose to stay out.
- For those who choose to stay at the Seaport Hajj Terminal, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Jeddah (POLO Jeddah) shoulders their accommodation at 10 Saudi Riyals per day and provides 2 meals.
- The Seaport Hajj Terminal is being offered by the Saudi Government to curtail the practice of overstaying foreigners loitering at public places like under the Kandara Bridge to seek deportation.
|Voluntary listing||Male||Female||Children||Daily Total|
Admission into Deportation Center
- To be admitted into the Deportation Center, the Saudi General Directorate for Passports requires that the overstaying national must have a travel document [with his/her real name] and a one-way return ticket with confirmed booking.
- The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah issues the Filipinos with travel documents waiving any of the normal requirements for the issuance of a passport or Travel Document. Those who enlist for deportation only have to file an application and do not provide any of the normal required supporting documents. This also applies for their children. The travel document, which normally costs 80 Saudi Riyals, is issued free of charge.
- Due to the big number of deportees from various nationalities, the Saudi Government requires that the deportees have a confirmed flight one or two days after their admission into the Deportation Center.
- Admission into the Deportation Center is determined by the Saudi Government, and only after the names are given to them with complete travel documents and tickets. The General Directorate for Passports (Jawazat) decides when it will admit Filipinos from the Seaport Hajj Terminal into the Deportation Center, and they decide how many to admit based on space availability at the Deportation Center.
- Inside the Deportation Center, the Saudi authorities conduct an investigation including taking fingerprints and biometric data.
|Admission into Deportation||Male||Female||Children|
|Jul 25, 2010||50||127||38||215|
|Aug 1, 2010||0||147||51||198|
|Aug 2, 2010||0||110||21||131|
|8 Aug 2010||169||0||0||169|
|21 Aug 2010||0||57||22||79|
|22 Aug 2010||0||10||3||13|
Schedule of Outbound Repatriation Flights
- The Philippines is one of only few countries who have made an arrangement for the use of the Seaport Hajj Terminal, and one of only two countries that shoulders the plane ticket of their nationals for deportation and assists for their eventual repatriation.
- If anyone looks at the record of admission into the Deportation Center and compares it with the schedule of flights, it is easy to deduce that the length of stay at the Deportation Center is very short. Under Saudi laws, any overstayer or worker who absconded from his/her employer is subject to penalties and detention. Clearly, these penalties are waived for those who undergo this procedure.
- However, if the Jawazat authorities do not clear an individual for departure during the investigation stage, that person stays longer at the Deportation Center. It is the Saudi authorities that determine who is cleared and who is not.
- There are also instances that those who are cleared are not able to make their flights for various reasons, such as the breakdown of the fingerprinting and biometric machines or simply because the Jawazat authorities failed to bring them to the Airport.
- Consistent with practice in the voluntary deportation in September 2009 to March 2010, plane fares of overstaying hajj and umrah pilgrims and children of OFWs are not shouldered by the Government as per instructions received by the Consulate and the POLO Jeddah.
Schedule of repatriation flights
Summary as of 19 August 2010
- From 10 July to 19 August, POLO Jeddah has repatriated 562 Filipinos or 121 males 332 females and 109 children
As of 23 August 2010, there are no Filipinos at the Seaport Hajj Terminal seeking deportation.
- POLO Jeddah continues to monitor on daily basis the status of Filipinos at the Deportation Center, to ensure their timely departure upon completion of the investigation by the Saudi authorities.
|Enlisted for deportation||341||597||187||1134|
|Admitted into the Deportation Center||219||384||110||805|
|Still at the Seaport Hajj Terminal||0||0||0||0|
|Inside Deportation Center & awaiting deportation (still be under investigation)||81||119||26||206|
|Did not show up during pick-up (living outside or still working)||122||152||52||326|
** Thanks to Consul General Ezzedin Tago (Philippine Consulate – Jeddah) for this detailed report.