Saudi Arabia to compensate some 10,000 displaced OFWs

Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, attends a meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (out of frame) at the United Nations on March 27, 2018 in New York. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP)

BANGKOK, Thailand — The government of Saudi Arabia will shoulder the unpaid compensation of around 10,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia who worked for construction firms that went bankrupt in 2015 and in 2016, Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople announced Friday.

The Saudi Arabia government, Ople said, will allocate 2 billion riyals or P30.5 billion for the unpaid salaries.


The pronouncement came after the bilateral meeting of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

“The Crown Prince, His Royal Highness, announced and said that this was his gift – he really prepared for this and this was an agreement reached by the Saudi government just a few days ago,” Ople said in a statement.


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“So they have set aside two billion Riyals to help our displaced workers. So this is really good news and we thank po Saudi Arabia,” she added.

The President, meanwhile, welcomed the development.

“Napakagandang balita talaga. At pinaghandaan talaga tayo ni Crown Prince. Kaya’t sabi niya ‘yung desisyon na ‘yan ay nangyari lamang noong nakaraang ilang araw at dahil nga magkikita kami at sabi niya ito ‘yung regalo ko para sa inyo,” the president said in the same statement.

(It is really good news and the Crown Prince really prepared for us. That is why, he said, that decision only happened in the past few days because we will meet. He said that this will be his gift for us.)

The government of Saudi Arabia, Marcos said, also guaranteed that the incident will not happen again to OFWs bound for the kingdom.

An insurance system will be in place, according to the chief executive.

“Sila mismo magbibigay ng insurance kung sakali man mangyari ulit ‘yan na malugi ‘yung korporasyon na tinatrabahuhan nila at hindi nila makuha ang kanilang sahod, ‘yung insurance ang magbabayad. So marami rin talagang tinutulong sa atin ang pamahalaan ng Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Marcos.


(They will give the insurance in case it happens again that corporations will be bankrupt and OFWs cannot get their pay, the insurance will pay for it. So, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia really helps us a lot.)


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