OWWA brings home 109 distressed OFWs from Saudi Arabia

MANILA, Philippines – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) brought back home 109 Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia, in line with the government's efforts to help distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The OFWs from Dammam, Saudi Arabia, arrived on Saturday morning, December 8, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, OWWA said in a statement.

OWWA said many of the workers "decided to come home due to contract violations by their Saudi employers such as unpaid salaries and/or end of service benefits, delayed salaries, lack of vacation leaves and failure to secure a final exit visa." 

The repatriated workers were employed by 3 companies – Al Azmeel Contracting and Construction Corporation, Rakkan Trading and Contracting Company, and SAMAMA Company for Operation and Management. 

OWWA said if shoulders the OFWs' plane tickets.

"The workers were repatriated in line with the promise of Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III to bring home as many distressed OFWs from financially strapped Saudi companies before Christmas," added OWWA. 

OWWA also gave cash assistance to the OFWs while waiting for their flight home. "Another cash assistance and livelihood package shall be given to the workers when they arrive at their respective hometowns," said the agency.

OWWA said that its repatriation team will give airport assistance to the OFWs, including temporary shelter at the agency's halfway home, and transportation assistance. – Michael Bueza/Rappler.com