DOLE ready to repatriate OFWs if Saudi situation worsens

MANILA The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday said it is ready to repatriate some 50,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from areas affected by the bombing of oil plants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in case the condition there worsens.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III noted that they are still assessing the possible implications on the safety and security of Filipino workers there.

He added that they are monitoring developments in the area.

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, the DOLE chief said in a statement.

Bello reported that there was no Filipino casualty in Saturday's drone attack at the Abqaiq plant in the kingdom affecting nearly half of the country's oil production, which is about 5 percent of the global daily output.

The attacks were allegedly perpetrated by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The DOLE secretary added that they are in close coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the possible repatriation in case the situation worsens and poses danger to OFWs.

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, Bello said.

Saudi Arabia, the world's leading 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. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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