25 OFWs who availed of Saudi amnesty get gov't assistance
The first batch of some 5,000 Filipinos who availed of the amnesty granted by Saudi Arabia to illegally staying foreigners in the Kingdom arrived on Tuesday and were immediately given government assistance.
After arriving in Manila, the 25 Filipino workers were given airport assistance, psycho-social counseling, stress debriefing, medical referral, and temporary shelter by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
The OWWA also arranged for their transportation to their respective provinces.
OWWA officer-in-charge Josefino I. Torres said the Philippine Embassy and Philippine Overseas Labor Office had processed the OFWs' documentation prior to their travel exit.
According to OWWA, returning OFWs will be given access to the Labor Department's Assist WELL (Welfare, Employment, Legal and Livelihood) Program, which would give them livelihood assistance, referral to local and overseas employment, training, and legal assistance.
OWWA members were also given a non-cash livelihood package worth P10,000 with starter kit under the Balik-Pinas! Balik-Hanapbuhay! Program of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs.
Non-OWWA members, meanwhile, were provided with non-cash livelihood training for undocumented OFWs and referred to the Balik-Pinas! Balik-Hanapbuhay! Program.
The 90-day amnesty that started on March 29 was offered by Saudi Arabia to all foreign workers there who are overstaying, escaped their employees, or with expired or unreleased iqamas.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said 67 more OFWs who availed of the amnesty are set to arrive on Thursday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The 67 are set to arrive at 10:05 a.m. at NAIA Terminal 2 via Philippine Airlines flight no. 0655, according to the DFA. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News