The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced on Monday that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are claiming back wages from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are set to receive a P10,000 humanitarian package each.
said in a statement that the financial aid will be funded through a joint undertaking between the DMW and its agency, Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Based on OWWA records, an estimated 10,000 workers will be covered by the assistance of the government agencies which will each fund an amount of P5,000.
A total of P50 million will be allotted by each agency to fund the aid for the claimants.
Since the bankruptcy of many Saudi construction firms in 2015 and 2016, more than 100 claimants have passed away while waiting to collect the accumulated back wages, according to the DMW.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has tasked Ople to make full use of prudent diplomacy in discussing with the Saudi government the issue of unpaid back wages.
The government is committed to extending the financial assistance needed to the unpaid OFWs while waiting for the talks between the two governments set for this month.
Meanwhile, Ople thanked DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian for extending assistance to the Saudi-based workers. She also said that the humanitarian package was approved during their meeting with the OWWA Board of Trustees.
OWWA Administrator Arnell Ignacio said that they will soon issue the implementing guidelines for the release of the funds.
The grant will be released directly to the claimants.
“OWWA has sufficient funds for this humanitarian program, and we are ready to help the claimants, as we have done in the past,” he said.