Labor chief Bello leaves for Saudi Arabia to assist stranded OFWs
Labor Secretary Silvestrre Bello III on Monday night left for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he will assist stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Bello's Emirates flight left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at around 11 a.m.
The secretary said he is brought with him President Rodrigo Duterte's letter thanking Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for extending assistance to the stranded OFWs.
Aside from giving free exit visas to at least 9,000 OFWs, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also committed free airfare for the stranded Pinoy workers who may want to return to the Philippines.
At least 9,000 OFWs lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia due to retrenchments amid the oil crisis plaguing construction companies.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said it has provided a total of P58.66 million in relief assistance for affected OFWs and their families.
Bello said they will convince the OFWs to return home instead of lingering in Saudi Arabia.
He assured the OFWs and their families that work is waiting for them in the Philippines, under the government's programs through the OWWA and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Bello also assured continuous assitance to the OFWs and their families through the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
The labor chief had said that he will lead a 40-man delegation to Saudi Arabia to assist the OFWs.
The delegation is composed of representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Foreign Affairs, DSWD, Department of Health (DOH), TESDA. —ALG, GMA News