MANILA, Philippines – Five OFWs who fled the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were awarded immediate livelihood and medical assistance by Senator Cynthia Villar upon arrival in the Philippines on Tuesday.
The five aforesaid Filipino workers, who were reportedly abused by employers, have not received their salaries from contracting company – Mohammad Al Mojil Group (MMG) – after the latter has suffered grave financial distress over a lengthy period of time.
According to Business Mirror, these five OFWs were included in the 500 OFWs who were stranded and waiting for repatriation in MMG campsites since 2013. Their fellow OFWs namely Roque Capistrano, Jimmy Wuthrich, Jonathan Basi, and Guillermo Recomio got in touch with Senator Villar to ask help for the quick repatriation of other OFWs in that location.
The five repatriated OFWs – Oscar Penaflor, Rodrigo Santiago, Arturo Layson, Rolando Palao, and Manolito Toston – who came to the senate together with their wives were welcomed by Senator Villar who expedited the financial assistance, sari-sari store startup package, and referral to Las Pinas General Hospital for their medical aid; as they were found out to be suffering from hypertension, congestive heart failure, spondylosis, and pericarditis due to exposure to harsh working conditions in the Middle East.
They were the latest beneficiaries of the assistance program for distressed OFWs manned by Senator Villar in collaboration with All Day Convenience Store and Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) as reported on Senate.
“The assistance we are extending to distressed OFWs is a simple way of helping them start anew right here at home. I know the loss of jobs coupled with sickness makes it more difficult to provide for their families,” said Villar.
Meanwhile, Senator Villar also noted that the implementation of the Saudization policy has negatively impacted Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia as it prioritizes hiring Saudi national as opposed to hiring other nationalities. More so, the depreciation in petroleum prices also led to cutting manpower.