THE Department of Labor and Employment has said the government is ready to repatriate about 50,000 Filipino workers from areas affected by the weekend bombing of oil plants in Saudi Arabia should the situation worsen in the world’s top oil exporting country.
However, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the labor department is still assessing the threat to the safety and security of overseas Filipino workers, adding the government is monitoring developments in the area.
Bello also assured the public that there was no Filipino casualty in the bombing attacks.
“So far, no reports of OFWs injured or negatively affected by the attack and no work disruption was reported. Our Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in Al Khobar, Riyadh, and Dammam are also on top of the situation to check on the conditions of our OFWs,” he said.
The labor chief also said DOLE is in close coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs on the possible repatriation in case the situation worsens and poses danger to OFWs numbering about 50,000 in the affected areas.
“We are coordinating with the DFA on the development of the situation for constant assessment. But we are ready for any eventual repatriation to ensure the safety and security of OFWs, or help them secure employment in the other areas,” he said.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is among the top destination countries for OFWs composing 24.3 percent of the total 2.3 million OFWs worldwide, according to the 2018 Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority.sen