MANILA — Saudi Arabia king Salman bin Abdulaziz promised to pay for the transportation and other fees of recently repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
In an interview with DZMM, Acts OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz III said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello and other delegates coordinated with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) officials for assistance for the OFWs who appealed for repatriation.
After the successful talks, 128 stranded Filipinos were brought home.
According to Bertiz, the fund used for their trip home was from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
“Two weeks ago, nangako naman ang hari ng Saudi na sasagutin ang gastusin so isa ito sa ire-refund natin sa kanila,” said Bertiz.
Bertiz thanked the government for the speedy action with regard to the repatriation of stranded OFWs, who worked for the now bankrupt oil, gas and petrochemical contractor Mohamad-Almojil group.
“Matagal na nating kinakalampag, mahigit dalawang taon [at] kalahati na itong stranded workers at sa awa ng Panginoong Diyos, nakauwi na sila kahapon.”
He said he has been pushing for high-level talks between the two governments to fix the status of stranded Filipinos, which includes the payment of their fees.
There are about 300 more OFWs from Saudi Arabia set to go home this year.
Around 60 percent of the 12,000 affected Filipinos there availed of the repatriation program. The others chose to stay in Saudi Arabia after finding other jobs.
Pia Regalado, ABS-CBN News