The number of Filipinos being deported from Sabah in Malaysia continues to rise, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Thursday.
Social Welfare Attache to Malaysia Bernard Bonina said the Philippine government has been coordinating with different agencies and departments to assist the 7,000 Filipinos who had been deported from Malaysia.
According to DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, the public and the government as well “should not ignore that the main reasons why Filipinos go to Sabah” are “economic in nature.”
“There are many undocumented Filipinos in Sabah because they think that they are better off there than in the Philippines,” Taguiwalo said.
“They believe that they have better livelihood opportunities in Sabah,” she added.
The DSWD said many of the Filipinos deported have families in Sabah.
Some of the deportees have a hard time finding employment in the Philippines because “they lack employable skills and have low educational attainment.”
Besides, local government units (LGUs) in their area are unable to create community-based programs that would spell work for the deportees, according to the Social Welfare departrment.
The DSWD said inability of Filipinos to come up with “most needed” documents such as birth certificates hinders their search for jobs.
“Most deportees, too, do not have financial capacity to cover expenses to secure the documents they need to obtain a passport,” the department said.
To assist the Filipino deportees, the DSWD has organized core teams of social workers for them.
As of March 5, a total of 841 deportees had been served by the department.
Government agencies, including the DSWD, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine National Police, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, conduct orientations for the deportees upon their boarding of the ship bound for the Philippines.
The DOH provides the deportees with medical services.