Jobless OFWs troop to consulate in Jeddah for financial assistance
Hundreds of jobless OFWs have trooped to the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia since Sunday to claim the financial assistance the Labor department promised them.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III visited the consulate last Friday to see for himself the situation of the more than 10,000 retrenched OFWs in the Kingdom who reportedly have been forced to scavenge for food and sell their blood to survive.
Thousands of foreign workers lost their jobs due to the slump in the prices of petroleum products, forcing several firms of the oil-producing country to cut down on production and to retrench workers.
During his visit, Bello promised that the Philippine government would give each affected OFW P20,000, aside from the P 6,000 for each of their families in the Philippines.
Most of the OFWs who first trooped to the consulate to claim the promised assistance were from the firm Saudi Oger.
One of the OFWs told GMA News that in the last six or seven months their salaries have not been released.
“Ako po si Pacifico Lopez, 23-anyos, nang nagtatrabaho sa Saudi Oger at kami po ay dumaranas ngayon na financial crsis dahil hindi po nagpapasahod ang aming kumpanya ng 6 to 7 months.”
"Pumunta kami dito para i-verify kung paano namin makukuha yung financial assistance para sa amin," Lopez said, adding that many OFWs share the same problem they have at Saudi Oger.
Also, they called on the Philippine government to help in their repatriation. — LBG, GMA News