The Philippine government has set aside a total of PHP100 million to provide humanitarian aid to thousands of Filipino workers who have yet to receive their back wages and benefits from their former employers in Saudi Arabia. The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will work together in order to provide PHP 10,000 humanitarian cash assistance to an estimated 10,000 Saudi OFWs.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. had a dialogue with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand where he brought up the issue of unpaid OFWs.
In response, the prince pledged that the Saudi government would shoulder wage claims for around 10,000 affected OFWs.
OWWA Administrator Arnell Ignacio emphasized that they have sufficient funds for this humanitarian program and are ready to help the claimants receive their due payments as soon as possible.
The money will be released directly to the claimants once OWWA issues its implementing guidelines for the release of funds. DMW Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople expressed her appreciation for DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian’s support towards helping these OFWs during these difficult times.
DMW and DSWD Sign Agreement to Give PHP 10K Cash Aid to Distressed OFWs in Saudi
The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) allowing for the release of PHP10,000 as humanitarian assistance for unpaid Saudi Arabia claimants.
The financial aid is set aside for an estimated 10,000 distressed Filipino workers who were affected by construction companies going bankrupt from 2015 to 2019.
The signing was held at the Blas F. Ople Building in Mandaluyong City, headed by DMW Secretary Susan Ople and DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian. Both departments have each allocated PHP50 million for the cause and will be releasing the aid within two weeks with DMW-OWWA leading the distribution efforts.
In addition to humanitarian assistance, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. had previously discussed assisting OFW families during his dialogue with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at last year’s APEC Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
The prince pledged that the Saudi government would shoulder the wage claims of these OFWs displaced since 2015-2016 however details have yet to be ironed out. The agreement between DMW-OWWA and DSWD also includes the implementation of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations program as well as creating of an electronic or digital portal for OFW beneficiaries to register for their aid packages, updating their previous database and information for future reference, along with designating a focal person to oversee the process and monitor compliance in the disbursement of public funds.
Please check the post below as shared by the DMW official Facebook Page: