Twenty distressed OFWs arrived in Manila from Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Saturday noon, bringing to 119 the number of retrenched Pinoys being repatriated from the Kingdom since July 26.
A GMA News report said that the OFWs took the Gulf Air flight 154, which touched down at NAIA at about 11:35 a.m.
Another batch of 28 OFWs, all former employees of Saudi Oger Ltd., are expected to arrive Saturday evening.
Rene Bacalso, whose salary for eight months has been withheld, said that back in Riyadh he and his colleagues could have their meals only when aid comes every Friday.
On the other hand, Christopher Labis said he slept off hunger pangs as no food or aid had come to their camp there.
Also, he said he had to put off his scheduled return to the Philippines despite securing an exit visa because he had not received his back pay in 10 months.
Over 10,000 OFWs have been retrenched from various companies in the oil-producing county due to the continuing slump in the prices of oil, as well as the Saudization policy, where Saudis are given employment preference over foreign workers.
Upon arrival, repatriated OFWs with no homes in Metro Manila will be temporarily housed at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration center in Pasay City while they arrange their return to their home provinces.
Retrenched OFWs in Suadi Arabia will receive P20,000 in cash aid from the Philippine government, aside from the P6,000 in cash to be given to each of their families. — Rie Takumi/LBG, GMA News