Govt ready to help OFWs affected by ‘Saudization’ PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 November 2013 14:33

A Palace official said Sunday that the government is prepared to assist the thousands of Filipinos overseas workers (OFWs) who will be displaced by the “Saudization” policy in the oil-rich Middle Eastern Kingdom.

In fact, the Philippine government has allocated some P2 billion reintegration fund for returning Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia, Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

“Ginagawa ng pamahalaan ang nararapat at kinakailangan para maprotektahan ang karapatan at kapakanan ng ating mga kapatid na apektado ng Saudization policy,” Coloma told state-run dzRB radio.

“Naglaan po ng dalawang bilyong piso ang Department of Labor and Employment, Development Bank of the Philippines, at Land Bank of the Philippines para sa programang ito na maaaring magamit ng ating mga kababayan sa pagpapatayo ng negosyo,” Coloma further said.

He said that with the contingency measures in place, government agencies like the departments of labor and employment (DOLE) and of foreign affairs (DFA) assured the “limited” effects of “Saudization” policy.

Under the Saudi’s labor policy, the Kingdom has given illegal foreign workers until Sunday to correct their status or leave.

“Ang DOLE at DFA na magiging limitado ang epekto ng ‘Saudization’ dahil nakahanda ang mechanism para makatulong sa Pilipinong makalipat o pumasok sa ibang profession na hindi natatangi sa mga taga-Saudi,” Coloma said.

The DOLE is expected to administer the fund while government banks will serve as channels, Coloma added.

He said Vice President Jejomar Binay, also presidential adviser on OFW concerns, already wrote Saudi King Abdullah seeking an extension of the Nov. 3 deadline.

The DFA, for its part, had sent its representative for the immediate repatriation of Filipinos affected by the new labor policy.

To date, there are over 4,000 OFWs who had returned to the Philippines while some 9,000 had received their travel documents.

Coloma said that there are still some 1,500 OFWs waiting for clearance from immigration.