The number of undocumented Filipinos in Croatia is increasing as they use it as jump off to enter Europe, the Philippine Embassy in Viena noted.
“Karamihan sa kanila nanggagaling sa Middle East at namalagi sa Croatia without proper documentation so they are more vulnerable kasi ‘yung kanilang employment contract at papers ‘di ayos,” said Ambassador Maria Cleofe Natividad in an ABS-CBN report.
She said that the increas poses a challenge to the embassy.
“Ang entry point will be Croatia pagkatapos lumilipat sila sa ibang bansa na mas maganda pa ang oportunidad tulad sa Italia, Alemanya so parang nagiging jump off point,” she added.
Natividad said that there are around 600 Filipinos in Croatia and many are scared to reveal their visa status the embassy.
Based on their data, some 50 Filipinos are undocumented and the number is still increasing.
OFWs in the country are among the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Philippine mission is trying to repatriate them.
“Umuwi muna sa Pilipinas at ayusin… kung kailangang maredeploy, gawin sa tamang paraan,” she added.