Without much fanfare, President Duterte extends 500 million peso financial aid to OFW’s who has been stranded in Saudi Arabia for the past few months.
According to Arab News, “the Philippine government has stepped in to help Filipinos going without pay at Saudi Oger with SR40 million immediate financial assistance.”
“Newly elected President Rodrigo R. Duterte sent a high-profile team that comprised Atty. Guiling Mamondiong, new chief of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Silvestre Bello III, labor secretary; and John Bertiz, Acts-OFW partylist Congressman,” Arab News reported.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told the stranded OFW’s in Saudi Oger that he visited them to personally know their issues first hand, not doctored information from government employees posted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
We are here to learn your real status and I don’t want to get doctored information … Don’t be shy in telling us your problems.
The Labor Secretary also asked the stranded OFW’s if they eat 3 meals a day.
Although there was no mention how the OFW’s responded to Secretary Bello’s query, Arab News recalled telling the audience while looking at the direction of the embassy staffs and quote:
We are not taking care of our heroes!
It was learned that each OFW will get P20,000 (SR1,667) plus P6,000 (SR500) for his family back home apart from that, the visiting Philippine officials pledged to help OFWs’ children back home to continue their studies.
TESDA Chief Atty. Guiling Mamondiong “emphasized the important role of the TESDA in facilitating vocational and technical training to be conducted for the improvement of workers’ qualifications to raise their working status to a higher level.”
This is one of the reintegration programs being featured including livelihood and micro-businesses beneficial to the returning expatriates and OFW must not return home without a job.
Meanwhile, the visiting government officials led by Labor Secretary Bello extended President Duterte’s sincere thanks to the OFW and quote:
Your landslide vote gave the president victory.
On top of the financial aid, the government promised to assist them in the repatriation procedures, including their plane tickets, and legal assistance to claim their unpaid salaries and other entitlements.
The stranded OFW’s heaved a sigh of relief after suffering months scavenging for food just to survive without money in a foreign country.
On July 22, 2016, the stranded OFW’s in Saudi Oger were hoisted into the national limelight when 24 Oras of GMA News ran a short report highlighting their plight who were neglected by the Pnoy government.
Video courtesy of GMA News:
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Credits to Arab News