Over 9,000 OFWs served by DSWD in first 100 days of Duterte admin
Over 9,000 OFWs affected by the oil crisis in the Middle East received assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the first 100 days of the Duterte administration.
In a statement, Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said her agency provided psychosocial intervention to convince the OFWs, majority of them stranded, to return home.
She said this was apart from the food and hygiene packs and regional referrals the OFWs needed to prepare themselves for their return to the Philippines.
The DSWD was part of the multi-agency humanitarian team that was formed to address the plight of stranded OFWs in the Middle East, particularly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
"We are very happy for the success of the humanitarian mission and we laud the efforts of the members of the DSWD team who worked very hard to reach out to our stranded kababayans in the KSA," Taguiwalo said.
She said the 9,476 OFWs who received help from the DSWD came from different companies such as Saudi Bin Laden Group, Saudi Oger, Mohammad Al-Mojil (MMG), and various sub-contracting companies.
Of the total number of served clients, 4,147 (44 percent) are from Jeddah, 3,588 (38 percent) are from Riyadh, and 1,741 (18 percent) are from Al Khobar/Dammam.
Despite this, Taguiwalo said based on their assessment, "much remains to be done because so many OFWs remain in dire straits in different part of Saudi Arabia."
"We have to continue our efforts to reach them and give them the assistance they need until they can return safely to the Philippines," she said.
As this developed, many OFWs — even those who are not in Saudi Arabia — lauded the Duterte administration for its quick action and said they are looking forward to the rest of President Rodrigo Duterte's term now that his first 100 days were over.
"Makatotohanan ang kanyang mga panukala at lahat ay patungkol sa tao. TAO ang kanyang pinagsisilbihan, hindi SIYA," said Geraldine Pascual, 35, a kindergarten teacher in the United Arab Emirates.
An OFW from the same country, Maria Divina, 57 and a medical secretary, praised Duterte for showing "great courage to stand and face the problems for his country."
Meanwhile, a self-described non-Duterte supporter, Noah Figueroa, a medical claims examiner in the UAE, noted the President for being "sincere."
"I was not his supporter before and I maintain my position still. But I will applause him when he is right and critical of what he is not doing right," he said. –with Lucky Mae F. Quilao/KBK, GMA News