Saudi Arabia to expedite repatriation of distressed Filipino workers

Saudi Arabia remains a top destination for overseas Filipino workers. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 26 December 2019

Saudi Arabia to expedite repatriation of distressed Filipino workers

  • Filipinos receive care packages, financial help
  • Presidential aide assessing the situation

MANILA: Saudi Arabia is to expedite the repatriation of almost 200 distressed Filipino workers following a meeting between high-level officials on both sides.

The workers, who are mostly domestic helpers, are at the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah while their cases are being processed. Most of their cases involve the non-payment of salaries.

A request for help was made during a meeting on Dec. 21 between Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje and Mohammad Ibrahim Jalal, the Saudi Social Welfare Administration’s (SSWA) director-general from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development for Makkah Al-Mukarramah Region.

Also present was Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola, who asked for the cases to be fast-tracked.

The two sides underscored the importance of close cooperation, agreeing to increase collaboration to help the distressed workers.

Philippine officials also met the distressed workers, who received care packages and financial assistance from the president and the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

Borje expressed President Rodrigo Duterte’s gratitude to Saudi officials for their commitment to helping Filipinos facing problems in the Kingdom.

“The president’s representative is on an assistance-to-nationals mission in the Middle East and North Africa to assess the conditions of Filipinos there,” the presidential palace said. 

Under current arrangements recruitment agencies facilitate the papers of workers with labor disputes and other problems. They also make referrals to the SSWA to speed up case processing.

Borje has visited Tunisia as part of his three-nation tour. He is also in Saudi Arabia to assess the conditions of Filipinos in the Kingdom. He proceeds to Bahrain to complete his mission.

The Philippines Statistics Authority said earlier this year that Saudi Arabia remained a top destination for overseas Filipino workers.


Saudi Arabia delays May crude prices until after OPEC+ meeting

Updated 05 April 2020

Saudi Arabia delays May crude prices until after OPEC+ meeting

  • OPEC and allies are due to meet on Thursday to discuss a possible new global crude supply cut

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco will delay the release of its crude official selling prices (OSP) for May until April 10 to wait for the outcome of a meeting between OPEC and its allies regarding possible output cuts, a senior Saudi source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
"It is an unprecedented measure that has not been taken by Aramco before. May OSPs will depend on how the OPEC+ meeting concludes. We are doing what we can to make it successful, including taking this extraordinary step to delay the OSPs," the Saudi source said.
Saudi Aramco typically issues its OSPs by the 5th of each month, setting the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices and affecting more than 12 million barrels of oil per day bound for Asia.
OPEC and allies are due to meet on Thursday to discuss a possible new global crude supply cut to end a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia which has prompted US President Donald Trump to intervene.
The Saudi source said that Riyadh wants to avoid a repeat of the outcome of a March meeting where oil talks collapsed between OPEC and allies "due to Russia's lack of cooperation with the rest of OPEC+ participants".
Coordinated cuts between OPEC members and others led by Russia expired on March 31 having helped support crude prices since they began in January 2017.
The OPEC+ meeting was initially due for Monday, but was postponed to April 9 "to allow for more time to reach out to all producers including OPEC+ and others," the Saudi source said.