By Prince Golez
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it is ready to provide repatriation assistance to about 50,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who may be affected by the attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia should the situation worsen.
The department is still assessing the possible implications on the safety and security of OFWs, adding that they are closely monitoring the conditions in the area, said Secretary Silvestre Bello III Monday.
Bello also assured there are no Filipinos among the casualties 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 added.
The secretary said DOLE is in close coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the possible repatriation in case the situation in Saudi deteriorates.
“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,” according to him.
Filipinos working in Saudi Arabia comprise 24.3 percent of the total 2.3 million OFWs worldwide, according to the 2018 Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority.