Displaced Saudi OFWs seeking unpaid wages to get P10,000 aid from PH gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — About 10,000 former overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia who are seeking unsettled compensation will receive P10,000 in humanitarian aid, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced on Monday.
The OFWs were those who worked in construction firms that declared bankruptcy in 2015 and 2016.
According to DMW Secretary Susan Ople, the financial package will be a joint undertaking between their agency and its attached agency Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The DMW-OWWA and the DSWD will allocate P50 million each to hand out P10,000 each to the recorded worker claimants.
Over 100 of the 10,000 claimants, the DMW said, have died while waiting for their back wages.
Implementing guidelines for the aid payout will be issued by OWWA soon. The assistance will be given to the claimants directly.
“OWWA has sufficient funds for this humanitarian program, and we are ready to help the claimants, as we have done in the past,” agency Administrator Arnell Ignacio said in a statement.
The humanitarian package, said Ople, was green-lighted by the OWWA Board of Trustees Monday morning.
The cash grant is being extended by the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. while the discussion between Philippines and Saudi Arabia governments is set this month.
Marcos ordered Ople to use prudent diplomacy in raising the issue of unsettled compensation to the Saudi Arabian government.
Last year, the government of Saudi Arabia pledged to shoulder the unpaid compensation of around 10,000 displaced OFWs who worked in construction companies that went bankrupt.
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