The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is ready to provide assistance to undocumented Filipino workers in Malaysia as the voluntary deportation program of the Malaysian government ends Thursday.
Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose told undocumented Filipino workers that the Malaysian government is not keen on extending the program, which allows illegal workers to return home without any legal repercussions.
Under the program, an undocumented applicant will pay a fixed discounted penalty of 300 Malaysian ringgit regardless of the length of overstay and a 100 ringgit exit fee.
“We are reminding our kababayan in Malaysia, particularly, those without legal immigration status, that the amnesty program ends today (Thursday),” Jose said.
He also urged documented Filipino workers to remain cautious while in Malaysia and to always bring legal documents wherever they go as the crackdown against illegal foreign workers in the country starts.
Jose said the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia has already assisted over 5,800 undocumented Filipino workers since the launch of the amnesty program last January 2016.
The Embassy is working closely with the Malaysian immigration office in finding ways to address the concerns of undocumented Filipinos, Jose said.
An estimated 400,000 Filipinos do not have legal immigration status in Malaysia, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Malaysia’s Immigration Department has earlier pledged to rid the country of illegal immigrants and to further intensify the operation to detain illegal immigrants from 31 August.
Immigration Department director-general Mustafar Ali said employers who hire and harbour illegal foreign workers will also be detained.
According to Malaysian news agency Bernama, Malaysia periodically conducts mass deportation of illegal migrants, the last one being around July last year.
At that time, officials said there were 600,000 foreign nationals working illegally in Malaysia. – BusinessNews.ph