Sunday, September 19, 2010

OFWs in Dubai irked by new BI (Bureau Of Immigration) requirement

Mga Bagong Bayani ng Bansang Pilipinas

DUBAI – Overseas Filipino workers in Dubai are irked with the new procedure imposed by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration that compels Pinoys going to the United Arab Emirates to re-authenticate their visit visas.

The BI’s new procedure requires OFWs to have their visit visas authenticated or acquire the red ribbon for the affidavit of support from their sponsors.

According to Consul General Benito Valeriano, the move is to prevent Filipinos from falling prey to human traffickers.

“Ang paghihigpit o ang pag screen ng BID sa mga travelers to the UAE ay to prevent yung mga tinatawag na human trafficking," said Valeriano.

Valeriano said the authentication would ensure that the visitor has a sure sponsor in the UAE.

However, many OFWs see this new requirement as a hassle and just another form of red tape as each applicant needs to pay an equivalent of P1,000 for the new process.

“Kami ho'y hirap na hirap na ho. Sabi ninyo bayani kami? Pinahihirapan ninyo ho kami,” said an applicant.

Valeriano stressed that they want to thoroughly screen applicants to verify their true purpose in coming to the UAE.

Those who trooped to the Consulate in Dubai for visa authentication had to endure the long line, slow processing of documents and even the hot weather.

“Siguro kulang ang tao. Tapos kaunting lamig sana, sobrang liit ng space,” said OFW Caridad Pineda.

Many complained that the area was too crowded and the Consulate lacked manpower to accommodate everyone.

The Consulate admitted that they lacked the manpower as they did not expect a large turnout of OFWs.

“Kanina pa ho kami dito 8 o’ clock. Okay lang maghintay sana, pero may magandang place na pwede kaming maghintay. Sa loob, hindi sobrang init," said another OFW. 

Source ABS-CBN
Report from Dindo Amparo, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau Chief

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