PHL consul in Saudi says job prospects bleak due to economic downturn
Philippine Consul General Iric Arribas discouraged Filipinos from seeking employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia due to the economic downturn in the Middle East country.
A News To Go report by Emil Sumangil Tuesday said some 10,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been affected by the closure of companies.
Arribas also said OFWs would have to prioritize the processing of their documents because of the crackdown on illegal workers.
The report said that as of the last week of March, some 1,050 illegal staying OFWs have applied for amnesty allowing them to return to the Philippines without paying penalties.
In an Agence France-Presse report, Filipino organizations said unpaid wages will be part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s two-day visit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Duterte arrived there late Monday. He is set to attend a bilateral meeting, and a Philippine-Riyadh Trade and Investment forum.
Duterte will also meet with the Filipino community at the Marriott Hotel before he departs for Bahrain. Duterte will be in Saudi Arabia from April 10 to 12, Bahrain from April 12 to 14, and Qatar from April 14 to 16.
Before he left for the Middle East, Duterte said he intends to bring home some Filipinos who are on death row.
"They've been given the clearance. I will fly them home. Pagdating ko dito, dala ko na iyong iba," he said during a pre-departure press briefing in Davao City.
According to Arribas, some 700 Filipinos are jailed in Saudi, and 21 of them are on death row. —Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/ALG, GMA News