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Over 10K distressed OFWs in Saudi get gov’t cash aid

THE Department of Labor and Employment yesterday announced that more than 10,000 overseas Filipino workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who were displaced by the oil crisis in the Middle East have benefitted from the government’s Relief Assistance Program (RAP).

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said RAP is a one-time grant of financial assistance provided to qualified OFW staying in camps, live-out in KSA or had been repatriated to the Philippines but did receive their salaries or end-of-service benefits from previous employers.

Bello, citing a report from the International Labor Affairs Bureau, said a total of 10,501 displaced OFWs were assisted through on-site RAP, while 18,626 OFWs already repatriated in the Philippines have benefitted from local RAP disbursements through the regional offices of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

“These figures accounted for a total of P469,888,031.06 disbursements, which were released on-site and locally,” Bello  noted.

He said the biggest chunk of beneficiaries came from three major cities of KSA, namely Jeddah with 4,938, followed by Riyadh with 4,334, and Al Khobar, with 1,229 workers.
   
These workers, according to him, received cash assistance of P26,000 each, with P20,000 given to OFWs and the remaining P6,000 goes to their respective families in the Philippines.
   
Among the companies that previously employed the affected OFWs were the Mohammad Al Mojil Group (MMG), Saudi Bin Ladin, Saudi Oger, FAWZI, Arabtech, MHM & Bros, Rakan Trading, ETE Company, SAAD, Alumco, and SRACO.