The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said around 400,000 undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Malaysia will be affected by the immigration crackdown which began on Saturday, September 1.
The announcement was made following the ending of the Voluntary Deportation Program of the Malaysian government which is similar to the amnesty program offered by the UAE to undocumented expatriates.
Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose reported that only 5,844 Filipinos availed of the program, representing less than 1 percent of the estimated 400,000 undocumented Filipinos in Malaysia.
“We are reminding our kababayan in Malaysia, particular those without legal immigration status, that the amnesty program ends today,” Jose said.
“In view of this, we request our kababayan to exercise due prudence and to ensure they carry their legal documents at all times,” the ambassador added.
Jose explained that extensive efforts were made to encourage undocumented OFWs in the country to avail the program especially during the last few months of the program.
During the amnesty program, the embassy assisted Filipino applicants by issuing travel documents free of charge, paying exit fees and airfare assistance as well as issuing endorsements and even providing transportation to the Immigration Office in Putrajaya.
With thousands of undocumented OFWs still opting to stay in Malaysia, Jose said the embassy is ready to assist them during the intensified immigration crackdowns.