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RPOC wants one-stop center for deportees

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The Regional Peace and Order Council (CPOC) for the Zamboanga Peninsula chaired by Mayor Beng Climaco passed a resolution during its third regular quarterly meeting yesterday, urging the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other line agencies to establish a one-stop center for processing and documentation of Filipinos deported from Malaysia.

The resolution stemmed from Climaco’s manifestation that Filipino deportees from Malaysia have to pass through the rigors of processing in the city instead of dropping them off directly at the places of origin, mostly in Jolo, Sulu and Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

Climaco said most of these deportees are from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi yet they are brought to Zamboanga City because the DSWD processing center is here.

Added to that is the fact that the processing center here does not have enough holding capacity, making it a burden for the city to find alternative sites.

A representative from DSWD, however, explained that upon the deportees’ arrival they will be profiled and those from other places are given financial assistance for transportation back to their places of origin, while those from the city are sent home immediately.

Nonetheless, the RPOC believes that a one-stop processing center is needed to unburden the city and the deportees themselves, a strategy adopted during the Arroyo administration.

Thus, the resolution was passed reviving the old one-stop center, this time it will include “passporting” process wherein deportees who have existing work and family in Malaysian will be processed for the issuance of passport.

Another resolution was adopted, calling for preparation of contingency measures in case of mass deportation in Malaysia, where thousands of undocumented Filipinos are subject for deportation in the months to come.-(Vic Larato)




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