OWWA: Over 2,000 stranded OFWs in Saudi Arabia sent home
A total of 154 more Filipino workers stranded in Saudi Arabia arrived home on Tuesday, bringing the total number of repatriated OFWs since July to 2,031.
The OFWs arrived on Tuesday afternoon aboard Saudi Airlines flight SV 872 and were oriented upon arrival by government officials on the programs and services available to them.
In a statement, the Overseas Worker's Welfare Association (OWWA) said these OFWs are entitled to the Relief Assistance Program (RAP) and other financial and business assistance packages.
Those staying at the OWWA Halfway Home may also have their post-repatriation service expenses covered, including land transportation, food, and toiletries.
OWWA said it has distributed P400,804,031.06 in the form of RAP to 18,255 stranded OFWs as of October 21. The agency has also distributed food and hygiene kits worth P2,310,295,82 to 13,245 OFWs in Saudi Arabia and P68,516,000.00 to 10,846 OFW families in the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Labor and Employment and attached agencies to prioritize the repatriation of Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia after the extent of the current oil crisis came into light.
There is an estimated 9,000 to 11,000 Filipino workers who were retrenched when falling oil prices destabilized the Saudi economy and forced construction companies to cut down on employees.
Numerous Filipinos remain in Saudi to settle their legal cases and claim their end of service benefits and salary or transfer to financially-stable companies. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News