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PIA Press Release
2006/10/30

DFA: 200 OFWs in Kazakhstan want to go home

Quezon City (30 October) -- At least 200 of the 600 Filipino oil workers in Kazakhstan want to return to the Philippines as situation in their worksite has yet to normalize, a foreign affairs official said Monday.

"While Filipino engineers and supervisors have already reported for work on October 25, the other Filipinos are staying in their barracks until an adequate security is in place," said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Esteban Conejos told a press briefing.

At present, Conejos said the management in Tengiz is preparing a comprehensive security plan to be discussed with Filipino workers and the consular mission headed by Philippine Ambassador to Pakistan Jaime Yambao.

Conejos said the Filipinos live in separate quarters, segregated from workers of other nationalities.

"Their employer is considering implementing staggered meal hours for the different nationalities to avoid provocation from one side to the other," he said.

On Saturday, Labor Attache Reste de la Fuente arrived in Tengiz from Riyadh and met with the Filipinos working for the US firm Bechtel and their employers.

No untoward incident has happened since De la Fuente’s arrival, as the Kazakh government has deployed has deployed 300 security personnel to guard the area.

In his discussion with the workers, De la Fuente told Conejos that 60 percent of the Filipinos have opted to stay, the remaining of which have expressed otherwise.

Conejos said 40 percent of the workers either want to return home or stay in Kazakhstan provided they would receive hazard pay.

He added that De la Fuente was given assurance by Bechtel that an improved security plan would be presented to the Filipino workers in two to three days for their inputs.

Among the features of the security plan include: a 24-hour security arrangement for seven days a week; police visibility through foot patrols and the setting up of detachments; creating a signal and identification system; rationalization of entry-exit points of all workers; and placing workers to reorientation seminars. (PIA) [top]

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