Only about 10 percent of the 108,000 Filipinos working illegally in Saudi Arabia had their exit documents ready by the Sunday deadline, officials said.
The Saudi government began a crackdown on undocumented foreign workers on Sunday, but some 12,259 Filipinos are still awaiting clearance to return home, Gulf News reported Tuesday.
Fewer than 1,500 undocumented Filipino workers are close to getting their visas and exit documents, said Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.
Vice President Jejomar Binay says the Saudi government has assured it will not arrest Filipinos whose paperwork has been processed.
An undocumented worker can be jailed for six months to a year and fined between $3,200 and $5,300.
More than 1 million Filipinos work in Saudi Arabia. Philippine labor records indicate that as of 2012, some 108,000 of them were in the country illegally. A Labor Department official said between 80,000 and 90,000 undocumented workers have not had their paperwork processed.
Migrante, a non-profit organization, says only 6,700 illegal Filipino workers need assistance to leave the country.
The Philippine government has set aside $1.16 million for workers affected by the crackdown. Another $46.2 million has been budgeted for re-integration of the workers deported to the Philippines.
Saudi Arabia instituted the crackdown on undocumented foreign workers in March, but extended the deadline for their departure until Nov. 3 after pleas from the governments of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines.