[In response to the news item titled "600 Pinoy farm workers without work permits face deportation in Malaysia”, which appears in The Manila Times online edition July 12, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur sends in the following press release.]
13 July 2013 — The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur stated today that it has released most of the 687 passports allegedly earlier filed for and not yet released to applicants in Sabah, while the processing of the other passport applications or the release of the approved ones has been hampered by insufficient documents submitted or not having proper return address, respectively.
“In many cases, the applicants improperly wrote their return mailing address in the application form, or have since moved to another place without properly notifying the Embassy. A number of applications have also been disapproved for lack of birth certificates or similar documents,” the Embassy noted.
Nonetheless, it is currently cross-checking each name in the list and in the case of passports still with the Embassy, it will ensure that these passports will be received right away by the applicants.
It has also implemented a strict regulation that passport applicants in Sabah give their proper mailing addresses and contact details to ensure that passports are properly delivered to their intended recipients.
The Embassy said that it cannot work with Juvy Ranjit or her placement agency, Pinoy Resources, as their accreditation with the Embassy is on hold due to numerous complaints from Filipino community members for overcharging of fees and non-delivery of services.
The agency was also the subject of an exposé by an ABS-CBN news team and the Blas F. Ople Foundation, which aired in the ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol in March last year, for its alleged involvement in the sale and proliferation of falsified Philippine birth certificates to undocumented Filipinos in Sabah.
“The Philippine Embassy has always given particular attention to the well-being of Filipinos in Sabah, and regularly dispatches its personnel on consular missions there. A seven-person Embassy team was in Lahad Datu from May 27 to June 7 and also in Kunak and Tawau from June 16 to 29. Another seven-person team is now in Kota Kinabalu until July 20, and has so far processed the passport applications of nearly 1,000 Filipinos. Some of the passports processed during these missions were already received by the applicants,” the Embassy stated.
“The Embassy will remain focused on uplifting the welfare of Filipinos there and will not relent in its mission,” it added.