25 OFWs under Saudi’s amnesty program get assistance

MANILA-- Twenty five overseas Filipino workers (OFW) staying illegally in Saudi Arabia had returned to Manila on Tuesday and were received and immediately provided with assistance by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

After availing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's amnesty program, the first batch of repatriated OFWs were given airport assistance, psycho-social counseling/stress debriefing and medical referral.

OWWA also provided post repatriation services to the 25 OFWs which include temporary shelter at the OWWA halfway home while transportation to their respective provinces are still being arranged.

The 25 Filipino migrant workers were part of the first batch of expected 5,000 OFWs, who took the opportunity to come home under the 90-day amnesty of the Saudi government.

The Philippine Embassy and Philippine Overseas Labor Officials made arrangements to process the OFWs' registration and documentation prior to their travel exit. As this happens, OWWA Manila took the next step from the airport to their travel to their respective destinations, OWWA Officer-in-Charge Josefino I. Torres said.

Aside from the immediate assistance, he also said that the labor department through its Assist WELL (Welfare, Employment, Legal and Livelihood) Program is on stand-by to provide local and overseas employment referral, livelihood assistance, legal and conciliation services, competency assessment and training assistance to the repatriated and distressed OFWs.

On the other hand, returned OFWs who are OWWA members were provided with a non-cash livelihood package worth P10,000 with starter kit under the Balik-Pinas! Balik-Hanapbuhay! Program of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO).

Meanwhile, non-OWWA members were referred to the same program and provided with a non-cash livelihood training for undocumented OFWs.

Source: Philippines Information Agency