But here's the thing. They are being repatriated only because the United States Armed Forces has started a crack down on such workers...
In a memorandum dated July 20, Colonel Richard Nolan of the US Central Command said that US camps in Iraq will be inspected on August 9, to check for foreign workers. Contractors found violating the order will be blacklisted from future US government contracts.
As if that weren't enough of a reflection of our renowned aversion to complying to simple directives, we exhibit yet another typically Pinoy trait...
Carmelita Dimzon, head of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), said the Filipino workers to be repatriated from Iraq on August 9 will not be punished for violating the Philippine government's 2004 deployment ban.
"I don't think punishing them or sanctioning them at this point will be done," she said.
Dimzon said the OWWA will even form a welcome party to meet the returning workers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
... and get a load of this...
"If they want to engage in business, they will be given a start-up capital of 10,000 pesos [Dh833]."
Dimzon said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration had announced it would place the workers on a priority list for redeployment abroad.
So let me get this straight:
Those 15,000 illegal workers in Iraq:
(1) get to arrive at the NAIA to a welcoming committe;
(2) stand to receive Php10,000; and,
(3) get to jump the redeployment queue for other lucrative jobs overseas.
Talaga naman oo.
If I was a worker trying to get work overseas by the book in compliance to all proper procedures, I'd be FUMING over this! Imagine a worker with a track record of illegal activity ahead of me in the queue.
That's Da Pinoy culture of crime at work again there. And we wonder why we are unable to punish crime. Turns out crooks are generously rewarded under Da Pinoy Way.