20 Filipinos repatriated from Moscow in June

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A total of 20 Filipinos who failed to secure a valid working visa in Moscow, were repatriated by the Philippines Embassy in June, according to Ambassador Carlos Sorreta.

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The Philippine embassy in Moscow assisted the Filipinos in undergoing deportation proceedings in order to obtain expulsion orders which will serve as their exit visas.

The affected overseas Filipino workers (OFW), the biggest so far, were accommodated at the embassy’s Assistance-to-Nationals Shelter, where they were provided with food and supplies while the process was ongoing.

Of the 20 OFWs, two have been apprehended by authorities while the others decided to seek the Embassy’s assistance.

“We understand that no OFW wants to go home abruptly, especially through deportation. The fact that our nationals came to the embassy for assistance in this regard means that they were really left with no choice,” Sorreta said.

He earlier warned Filipinos against individuals offering household jobs in Russia saying that right now there is no visa category for such work.

Vice consul Jeffrey Valdez, meanwhile, said that recruitment of Filipinos by unauthorized entities, especially from Hong Kong, have led to a situation where the number of work visas available for Filipinos, even the ones that misrepresent their actual work and employers, are no longer enough.

“What makes things worse is that Filipinos are being recruited using tourist, commercial (business) and even student visas that do not allow a foreign national to work in Russia,” Valdez added.

The embassy estimates that there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Filipinos in Russia, majority of them women who work as nannies and cleaners.

While there is a demand for Filipino household workers, Sorreta said, there is a need to find a long-term solution that clearly defines their legal status for their own protection.

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