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23 February 2024

5 Filipinas return home with business starter kits from UAE

By Sneha May Francis

Five Filipino migrant workers in the UAE were allowed to fly back home with their country’s vice president Jejomar Binay as their documents were deemed ‘travel ready’.

While the Vice President provided flight tickets to four of them, a Dubai-based Filipino businessman stepped in to help the fifth.

“For those who qualify, some are also given starter kits to be able to start a small business back home.”

A spokesperson at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai said the five workers were “identified because they were the wards whose travel documents were ready when the Vice President visited the UAE”.

The five workers - Rosminda Baui, Belsie Espine, Leowilyn Tan, Angelyn Tak and Lucresia Insesto – flew out last Thursday.

The five workers had been provided shelter at the Migrant Workers and Other Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC), which is run by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office-Dubai.

This, the spokesperson informed, was not the first initiative of its kind, with instances of “generous Filipinos and organisations” sponsoring tickets in certain instances/occasions”.

“They were housemaids, who were provided temporary shelter and assistance with their immigration, court or police cases which prevent them from leaving the country. Their length of stay varies depending on the complexity of their case usually from 2-3 days to 1-2 months,” the official added.

“The Philippine consulate through its assistance to Nationals Unit and Philippine Overseas Labor Office provides temporary shelter, advise, translation and representation with concerned immigration, police or court processes to release them from their contracts and enable them to travel back to the Philippines.  

“While in the Migrant's Center, they are also are provided psycho social interventions, health and wellness programs and skills training to equip them with skills for economic reintegration and upskilling to qualify them for better employment opportunities.  

Similar initiatives to help their migrant population is an ongoing process, she added.