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PIA Press Release
2006/10/31

60% of OFWs wish to remain in Tengiz

Iloilo City (31 October) -- Around 60 percent of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Tengiz, Kazakhstan wish to stay while the remainder expressed their desire to return home but were willing to stay provided they were given hazard pay.

This was disclosed by Mr. Levi de Mesa, President of Skills International Development, a local recruitment agency of the Tengiz OFWs to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban B. Conejos Jr.

In a DFA press report, Conejos said that the government has already undertaken several steps to ensure the safety of Filipino workers in Tengiz. This includes the dispatch of a composite Consular Mission to meet with the Filipinos there, their employers and local authorities.

Conejos reported that Labor Attache Reste de la Fuente arrived in Tengiz from Riyadh last October 28 and has met the Filipino oil workers and their employers while Consul General Agnes Cervantes arrived in Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan last October 29 to get assurances from the Kazakh government on the safety of Filipinos there. Likewise, Ambassador Jaime Yambao is proceeding to Astana and then to Tangiz.

The Kazakh government has deployed 300 security personnel to guard the area as reported by Labor Attache Reste de la Fuente, Conejos said.

Recently, a massive riot took place between Kazakh and Turkish workers in a drilling site in Tengis. Around 600 Filipinos are reportedly working in the said drilling project.

With this incident, the Department of Labor has temporarily suspended the deployment and departure of overseas Filipino workers to Tengiz, Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, in an effort to protect as well overseas workers from illegal recruitment, the government has initiated a sustained drive to crackdown on illegal recruiters as it looks into reports that illegal recruitment has gone up 36 percent. This action also shows the government's commitment to protect the welfare of the OFWs and understanding the great role they play in the economy of the country. (PIA) [top]

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