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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Oman sets amnesty for overstaying expatriate workers

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the Sultanate of Oman has
advised manpower sending countries, including the Philippines, of its
amnesty for illegal or overstaying expatriate workers, to leave the country
before the March 31, 2010 deadline.

In a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque, Labor
Attache Romeo Young said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman sent a note
verbale to the Philippine Embassy in the host country requesting it to
enlighten and educate its citizens about the amnesty.

Young said the Philippine Embassy was also tasked to enumerate and register
the names of those who are leaving and for those availing of the amnesty to
submit the documentary requirements to facilitate their hassle-free

Upon receiving the advise, the Philippine Consul General, together with
Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and Overseas Workers Welfare
Administration (OWWA) officials in Oman immediately met and sought the
assistance of leaders of the Filipino community in disseminating a the
information about the amnesty program.

Young said the POLO-OWWA in Oman will set-up a" One-Stop-Shop" center for
the registration and processing of overstaying overseas Filipino workers
(OFWs) who would avail of the amnesty.

Young said that after the initial announcement, 16 OFWs came to the
POLO-OWWA office as the first batch to be properly registered and processed.
More are expected to avail of the amnesty as the deadline comes near, he

Meanwhile, Young said there were signs that additional opportunities for
Filipino workers for Oman will be available soon as the Ministry of Manpower
of Oman announced that it has lifted the temporary ban on issuing work visas
to foreign workers in 10 categories.

Citing a report from the Oman Tribune, Salem Bin Nasir Al Hadhrami,
Director-General of Employment at the Ministry of Manpower was quoted as
saying that the ministry has allowed companies again to apply work visas
for 10 professions such as shoe repair, real estate valuators, bicycle
mechanic, electrician, upholstery workers, car mechanics, plumbers and
painters, screen printing technicians, health club trainers, restaurants and
coffee shop workers.

He, however, clarified that the suspension on eight other professions such
as laundry and barbershop workers will continue till the end of 2010.

Young said that although the ministry adopted a strategy to reduce
recruitment of foreign labor, it continues to study market needs and
economic development plans of the country.

He said that Omani employers have shown great interest in hiring more
Filipino workers because of their good work habits, pleasing personality,
and sunny disposition in life, which employers value most in the
service-oriented establishments like hotels, parlors, restaurants, shopping
centers, and coffee shops.

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