In the pursuit of better opportunities abroad, thousands of Filipinos risk their lives and leave their families behind. The tale is no different for the past few years, as Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Saudi Arabia have returned home after losing their jobs due to employer bankruptcy. The Philippine government is now providing much-needed support through cash aid for these distressed Filipinos.
It has been recently announced that around 10,000 OFWs who suffered job losses between 2015 and 2019 due to their Saudi Arabian employers’ bankruptcy crises will each receive Php 10,000 (approximately USD 200) in cash aid.
The memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed on Saturday in Mandaluyong City, marking a significant milestone in the collaboration between the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
At the heart of this initiative is Migrant Workers Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople, who has been an active advocate for the welfare of OFWs.
The cash assistance was made possible by the DSWD, under the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in a concerted effort to provide assistance to the affected Filipino workers.
This cash aid is seen as essential by many, as it not only provides much-needed financial relief for OFWs who are experiencing dire circumstances but also fosters a sense of solidarity for Filipinos who strive to make life better for their families abroad.
To qualify for the much-needed cash aid, OFWs must communicate with the DMW to get their claim number through OWWA and present proof of being tied to a company.
Social Welfare Secretary Rexlong Ting “Rex” Gatchalian confirmed that the claims for workers in Saudi Arabia who have not been paid will be settled and that assistance will be provided to them. Furthermore, the money will be released by next week for the distressed OFWs’ benefit.
This noble endeavor blossomed during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Thailand in 2022. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud of Saudi Arabia pledged to resolve the unsettled claims of OFWs, reflecting the summit’s aim to enhance trade relations between the participating countries, along with improving the lives of their migrant workers.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has faced economic challenges, affecting a multitude of companies across various sectors. This, in turn, has placed many OFWs in precarious situations, leaving them without work, with unpaid wages, and abandoned without any support mechanisms in place.
The Philippines and Saudi Arabia share a longstanding history of labor and economic cooperation, with millions of OFWs currently working across various cities in the Gulf nation. In fact, Saudi Arabia remains the top destination for Filipinos seeking employment in the Middle East.
With this cash aid, the Philippine government not only shows its dedication to the plight of these OFWs but also aims to rekindle their hopes and ambitions for a brighter future. By providing financial support to distressed migrant workers, the government helps to mitigate the blow of joblessness and encourages reintegration into their communities.
Furthermore, the cash assistance will not only aid in addressing the financial difficulties faced by the affected OFWs but also create opportunities for them to start anew in re-building their lives. It can be utilized as capital for starting small businesses or to invest in acquiring new skills and training, making them more capable and employable in various industries.
The OFW aid demonstrates that the Philippine government recognizes the sacrifices made by its citizens in search of better lives for their families. It reinforces the Filipino fighters’ spirit that perseveres in the face of adversity.
In conclusion, the cash aid provided by the Philippine government is an essential and decisive manifestation of its unwavering support for distressed Filipino migrant workers, particularly those affected by job losses. By fostering resilience and determination, the government seeks to uplift the lives of its people and encourage them to pursue their dreams, despite the hardships they may face.
Distressed OFWs Get Cash Aid: Saudi Arabia Puts Fortunate End to Their Struggle
Millions of Filipinos are scattered overseas in search of greener pastures, a brighter future, and to provide better living opportunities for their families back home. It is said that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have contributed significantly to the economic turndown slowdown of the Philippine archipelago.
However, life can still be arduous for them in their host countries, and in some cases, more challenging than their lives at home. Distress is real for these modern-day heroes, with a majority being mistreated, underpaid, or in disgraceful conditions. Fortunately, labor export policies, diplomacy measures, and repatriation schemes have been put into place to safeguard their rights and improve their well-being.
Susan “Toots” Ople announced that unpaid Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia will soon receive their cash aid.
An Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) initiative, this financial assistance program ensures that distressed OFWs under the Department of Migration Workers (DMW) could claim their rightful wages. OWWA Administrator Arnaldo Arevalo “Arnel” Ignacio explained that claimants can obtain their cash aid by simply following the instructions on the DMW website.
The OFWs comprise a significant part of Saudi Arabia’s labor forces. With this cash aid initiative, it is evident that the Saudi government and the Philippine government are working hand-in-hand to resolve numerous cases of unpaid wages, which speaks volumes of their dedication to maintaining diplomatic relations and ensuring their citizens’ welfare.
As migrant Filipino workers continue to face myriad challenges in Saudi Arabia, this cash aid initiative undoubtedly comes as a welcome relief. As more distressed and underpaid OFWs receive compensation and assurance of fair treatment, it is a step towards guaranteeing better working conditions, dignified livelihoods, and respect for their unwavering efforts in uplifting their families and nations alike.