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DFA to accept e-payments next year for passport applications

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_120617_Passport Application

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) shall implement the electronic payment of passports for citizens who wish to apply for a passport or renew one in 2018.

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said DFA is completing the system for the online appointment of passports.

To avoid the surge of online appointments, the DFA is also considering to forfeit the payments of those who will not appear on their scheduled appointments.

“Kung meron nang e-payment (once e-payment is in place), when you make your appointment, we will get either 50% or 100% pag hindi ka dumating (when you don’t appear). So that should take away all of this,” Cayetano said.

The DFA meanwhile clarified that passports may be immediately available for senior citizens, single parents,
persons with disabilities or PWD’s, children below 7 years old accompanied by siblings or parents, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) even for their first trip outside the country.

The DFA will also deploy mobile passport processing units to bring passport processing closer and more accessible for the public. – UNTV News & Rescue

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109 undocumented OFWs return home from Dubai

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Undocumented OFWs who availed the amnesty program of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Department of Foreign Affairs

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday brought home 109 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dubai.

The agency has now repatriated a total of 838 OFWs since the amnesty program began in August.

The Office of Migrant Workers Affairs shouldered airline tickets, exit fines and other penalties of the returning OFWs.

Each of the repatriates were given financial assistance of P5,000 as part of the government’s “all-out support” for the returning OFWs.

“Your presence here today demonstrates the kind of care and compassion President Duterte has for our overseas workers,” Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said

She also reminded all Filipinos who are seeking employment overseas to make sure that they go through the proper application process and follow the rules and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Undocumented Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines under this program will be assisted by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes encouraged qualified Filipinos to take advantage of the UAE’s amnesty program before the 31 October 2018 deadline, to give the Embassy and the Consulate General ample time to process the necessary documents.

(Source: DFA)

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PHL, Kuwait sign agreement over OFW protection

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, May 12th, 2018

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah sign the Agreement of the Employment of Domestic Workers on May 11, 2018 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait. (DFA photo)

Filipino workers in Kuwait would now receive additional protection following the signing of an agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah signed the Agreement of the Employment of Domestic Workers on May 11.

The signing was also witnessed by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and other Philippines government officials led by Special Envoy Mohammad Mama-o.

The agreement ensures, among others, that Filipino domestic workers have access to prompt legal assistance whenever necessary.

It also states that Kuwaiti employers will provide domestic workers with food, housing, clothing and health insurance. They are not allowed to confiscate the passport of their employees and that OFWs shall be allowed the use of cellphones; at least 7 hours of sleep; and one day off weekly with pay. — UNTV News & Rescue






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PH-Kuwait agreement on OFW protection to be signed on May 11

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning home from the Middle East (PHOTOVILLE International)


KUWAIT– The Philippine delegation to Kuwait confirmed that a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the Gulf State will be signed on Friday, May 11.

Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday night, May 9, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said both governments finally have agreed on the provisions of the MOA on the welfare and protection of Filipino workers in Kuwait.

“Tatlo pong mga cabinet secretary o ministers dito sa Kuwait ang aming nakausap,” Roque said. “Dito naman po kay Ministry of Labor ang napag-usapan talaga ay iyong tungkol doon sa Memorandum of Agreement na pipirmahan na.”

(We spoke with three cabinet secretaries or ministers in Kuwait. We discussed the signing of Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Labor.)

The provisions in the proposed MOA on OFW protection included the ones President Rodrigo Duterte expected to be in the agreement. First is the condition that passports of  OFWs should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy; second, OFWs will be given one day off weekly with pay; third, OFWs will be allowed at least 7 hours of sleep every night; fourth, OFWs should be provided a proper and healthy meals.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said though the Kuwaiti government agreed, he admitted that the other party was adamant at first over the said provisions.

“Iyon ang naging mainit na debate, iyong passport dahil (The passport issue triggered a heated debate because) initially they agreed that the passport should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy. Pero ang sabi nila hindi na kailangang ilagay sa MOU iyan, basta we will agree. So our technical working group insisted na kailangan nandun sa MOU. Finally, after a heated argument nag-agree na sila,” Bello explained.

(The passport issue triggered a heated debate because initially they agreed that the passport should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy. But they said “There’s no need to include it in the MOU. We will just agree.” So our technical working group insisted on including it in the MOU. They finally agreed after a heated argument.)

The Kuwaiti government has created a special police unit that works 24/7 to respond to reports of distressed OFWs, according to Roque.

Meanwhile, Kuwait has released the four Filipino drivers who accompanied embassy officials in the controversial rescue mission last month. Roque assured that the four will not be deported and they are cleared of charges.

Alongside these developments, the Philippine officials also confirmed that the Kuwaiti government allowed the repatriation of the 600 distressed OFWs in the Gulf State. One hundred fifty of them will be going home together with the Philippine delegation.

“Maiiwan iyong 62 kasi may kaso pa. Pero yung walang kaso pauuwiin na nila at their expense. Nabigla nga kami, napasipa ako kay Sec. Roque nung sinabi na at their expense. So that is a bonus na unexpected talaga,” Bello said.

(The 62 OFWs with pending cases will remain while the rest will be sent home at their (Kuwait’s) expense. We were so surprised by the offer that I nudged Sec. Roque, when they said “at their expense.” It was a really unexpected bonus.)

Meanwhile, newly appointed special envoy to Kuwait Abdullah Mama-O is expected to arrive to Kuwait today, May 10, for the finalization of the agreement before the official signing tomorrow, May 11. – Mirasol Abogadil / Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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