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Filipinos in Sabah reminded on VDP
Published on: Saturday, July 21, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur reminded all its nationals in Malaysia of the ongoing nationwide campaign on illegal immigrants which intensified on July 1, after the Rehiring Programme expired last June 30.

The embassy said it is anticipated that immigration operations will take place with more frequency than usual.

With the anticipation of more operations against illegal immigrants, the Embassy strongly encourages those who have been unable to secure valid permits under the recently concluded Rehiring Programme to apply under the Voluntary Deportation Programme (VDP) which will expire on July 30.

Under the VDP, illegal immigrants who surrender voluntarily can be issued an exit pass by the Malaysian Immigration Department upon payment of RM400 (RM300 penalty plus RM100 for one-way exit pass).

The settlement of payment would also mean voluntary deportees will be free from serving a jail term or pay higher compound.

"We are ready to extend free advice and assistance, including the issuance of travel documents to those who opt to avail themselves of the VDP," the Embassy said.

Applicants may proceed to the ATN Unit at the Embassy, or at klpe_malaysia@yahoo.com or call at +603 2148 4233 ext 114.

Meanwhile, persons arrested for immigration-related offences such as illegal entry, overstaying, working without the necessary permit or possession of fake visa and other documents, will undergo summary proceedings for about 10 to 15 days.

Once the proceedings are completed, the local Immigration Department will send notifications to concerned embassies regarding the arrest of their nationals.

The summary proceedings also help verify the nationalities of the detained persons.

If found to be in violation of immigration laws, those detained are made to serve a minimum jail sentence of two to six months.

After serving the jail term, the offenders are processed for deportation to their original countries.

On the part of the Embassy, the office will have to strictly follow a standard procedure in extending assistance to Filipino nationals who have been found violating Malaysian immigration laws.

Once notified, the Embassy facilitates the issuance of travel documents, when necessary, for detained nationals.

This entails an internal security vetting procedure, followed by personal interviews for verification prior to the release of travel documents.

As a matter of policy, the Embassy gives priority to the release of travel documents to minors, women (especially pregnant women), elderly and those who are in otherwise vulnerable physical conditions.

The Embassy also continues to make representations with Malaysian authorities to uphold and protect the rights of Filipino nationals affected by the ongoing immigration campaign. - Nikko Fabian

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