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PIA Press Release
2008/11/30

Gov't assistance to stranded OFWs abroad continues

ICC-Cotabato City (30 November) -- The government through POEA, OWWA, DOLE and other concerned agencies do not abandon overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded abroad.

This was the reaction of the representative of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao during Thursday's press conference conducted by the Regional Information Command Center and sponsored by the Philippine Information Agency, Region XII.

The statement was made by POEA-ARMM in reaction to the allegation of a reporter who said that "if not of former Senate President Manny Villar's efforts in sending home to our country several stranded OFWs, who either received maltreatment or abuse from their employers, particularly those from Jordan, said OFWs will not be able to go back to our country.

Tohamie M. Abas, Planning Officer, POEA-ARMM said, "it is not true that the government through our office abandoned, those OFWs given assistance by Senator Villar."

"All OFWs are being extended assistance by the government except that they (OFWs) have to undergo regular process in terms of documents submitted to our office,whether they are properly documentary or not," Abas said.

Asked what is irregular immigration, Abas said, there is no clear or universally accepted definition of irregular migration, but generally, irregular migration is the movement of persons, that takes place outside the regularly norms of the sending, the transit and the receiving or host countries.

From the perspective of destination countries, it is entry, stay or work which mean that the migrant does not have the necessary authorization or documents required under immigration regulations to enter, reside or work in that country.

From the perspective of the sending country, irregular migration takes place when a person crosses an international boundary without a valid passport or travel documents, or does not fulfill the administrative requirements for leaving the country.

On the main, there is, however, a tendency to restrict the use of the term "illegal migration" to cases of smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons. (MCD/PIA Cotabato City) [top]

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