King Salman of Saudi Arabia has donated SR100,000,000 or P1.2 billion for the needs of thousand stranded foreign workers, including Filipinos who were affected by series of oil prices dropped that caused massive layoffs.
In a statement from the Saudi Embassy in Manila said the King donated the fund "in view of humanitarian consideration and keenness of the kingdom’s government in protecting the rights of foreign workers, including stranded overseas Filipino workers."
The money will cover food, medicine and housing for the stranded workers, including the process of their return papers and air fare.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier met with Saudi Ambassador to Manila Abdullah al-Bussairy to facilitate the repatriation of the Filipino workers.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Charles Jose said the Saudi government waived the penalties for overstaying workers to allow the speedy repatriation of the Filipinos.
He said an interagency team from the Philippines headed by Bello flew to Saudi Arabia on Aug. 10 to extend humanitarian, legal and consular assistance to the Filipinos there.
However, Jose said there were many workers refused to leave despite losing their jobs.
“Their employers do not have the financial capacity to pay them, but despite this, the workers stay as they await payment of their back wages,” he added.