Sarawakian Dewi Farisha, two children stranded in Philippines since 2019 to return home next week

Fatimah (centre) speaks to the press while KLN Sarawak Regional officer Albony Basir (left) and Sheryl look on at Baitulmakmur II, Kuching on Jan 26, 2024.

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, Jan 26: Sarawakian Dewi Farisha Fazliman and her two children who were stranded in Manila, the Philippines, since May 2019, will be flown home by next week.

Sarawak Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said Dewi, 25, and her two children aged 3 years and 10 months respectively, were left stranded in the foreign country after they could not afford to pay the overstay fee when they were stopped by the immigration in Manila Airport.

Their plight then caught the attention of various Malaysian authorities namely the newly-appointed Sarawak Governor Tun Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (the then Dewan Negara president); Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof who is also the patron of Sarawak Volunteers; Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Dato Sri Nancy Shukri; Fatimah; and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (KLN) Sarawak Regional Office.

“Through the Embassy of Malaysia in Manila (Malawakil Manila), we were updated that the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration had agreed to reduce the penalty amount of Dewi and her children’s overstay from the initial RM29,439 to RM12,249.

“This amount will be borne by Sarawak Volunteers,” she said in a press conference held at Baitulmakmur II here today.

It was also informed that the Sarawak Volunteers would cover other expenses to rescue Dewi and her children which include accommodation worth RM6,800 and airfares for the Manila-Kuala Lumpur-Kuching route worth RM5,647.

Fatimah (left) and Sheryl photographed at Baitulmakmur II, Kuching on Jan 26, 2024.

Back in 2019, Dewi went to the Philippines with her mother Sheryl Balisi Cabrera, and her sibling to visit her sick grandfather and they had to extend their stay due to Covid-19 situation in the foreign country.

During their stay, Dewi had given birth to two children.

Come 2021, due to financial constraints to pay the overstay penalty including for her two children, Dewi had to stay behind while her mother and sibling returned home to Malaysia.

At the same time, Malawakil Manila has issued an emergency certificate (SPC) for Dewi’s children and the trio were relocated from a squatter house to Berjaya Hotel in Makati City on Jan 19. — DayakDaily