- Some 3,000 stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Saudi Arabia received P20,000 cash assistance each
- OWWA administrator disclosed that the government shelled out a total of P66.9M for the distribution
- For the program, a total of P500 million as cash assistance to the affected Filipino workers was allocated by the national government
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) reported that the government has granted P20,000 cash assistance to more than 3,000 stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Saudi Arabia.
Based on the data from the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in the Kingdom the cash assistance as of Thursday, August 11, were distributed to 1,764 OFWs in Riyadh; 1,205 in Jeddah; and 379 in Al Khobar for a total of 3,348, an article published by GMA News Online stated.
OWWA Administrator Rebecca Calzado said that for the distribution, the government shelled out a total of P66,948,733.98.
However, Calzado said this does not include the P19,782,000.00 which was utilized for the cash assistance given to the OFWs who have already been repatriated and for the families of the stranded OFWs.
Calzado further stressed that the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices has released cash amounting to P20,000 each to 510 repatriated OFWs and P6,000 each to some 3,297 claimant-families of OFWs still in Saudi Arabia.
According to OWWA, there is an estimated 9,000 to 11,000 OFWs currently stranded in Saudi Arabia following a massive layoff triggered by a slump in oil prices.
The Relief Assistance Program (RAP) was earlier promised by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III during his visit to Saudi Arabia in July.
Under the assistance program, an amount of P20,000 shall be extended to affected OFWs who are either staying in camps or live-out in Saudi Arabia, or have been repatriated to the Philippines but have not received their salaries or end-of-service benefits.
In addition to this, families of affected OFWs who are still at jobsites will also be given P6,000 monetary assistance.
Qualified to avail of the RAP are affected OFWs employed by the following companies: Mohammed al-Mojil Group (MMG); Saudi Bin Laden Group of Companies (SBG); Saudi Oger Ltd. (SOL); Mohammad Hameed Al-Bargash & Bros. Trading & Construction; Aluminum Company (ALUMCO L.L.C.); Rajeh H. Al Merri Contracting Company;
Arabtec Construction L.L.C.; and Real Estate Development and Investment Company.
As such, a total of P500 million as cash assistance to the affected Filipino workers was allocated by the national government.