After spending the last 23 years working illegally in Saudi Arabia, a 65-year-old Filipino will finally be reunited with his family in the Philippines.
Nemesio Valencia was repatriated to Manila yesterday, a move that was arranged and facilitated by the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).
Based on Valencia's own account, he arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1989 but absconded from his sponsor after three years of employment.
Valencia said he had since worked illegally in the Kingdom. In 2002, his Saudi residence permit (iqama) expired.
It was only last May 8 that the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) presented himself at the Deportation Center in Riyadh and was requesting to be deported.
"He was refused by Deportation authorities, as he was unable to provide information about his sponsor and did not obtain a release from the latter," the embassy said in an earlier statement.
The Embassy paid his immigration penalties in the amount of SR8,000 and provided for his airfare back home.
Payment for immigration penalties incurred by Valencia, after several years of illegally working in the Kingdom, was sourced from the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA’s) assistance-to-nationals (ATN) funds.
By ROY C. MABASA