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-backed electric car breaks through 500 miles range barrier

Updated 42 min 56 sec ago

Saudi-backed electric car breaks through 500 miles range barrier

  • Lucid Motors announced independent range verification of 517 miles on a single charge for its forthcoming Lucid Air all-electric sedan

 

LONDON:A Saudi-backed electric vehicle has broken through the 500 mile range barrier from a single charge.
Lucid Motors, in which Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is a major investor, on Wednesday announced independent range verification of 517 miles on a single charge for its forthcoming Lucid Air all-electric sedan.
The results confirm that the Lucid Air is the longest range electric vehicle to date, the car maker said in a statement.
So-called “range anxiety,” where drivers fear being stranded without power in their cars, is a major factor for electric vehicle manufacturers in convincing people to make the switch from traditional gasoline-fueled vehicles.
“Range and efficiency are widely recognized as the most relevant proof points by which EV technical prowess is measured,” said Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson. “A few years ago we revealed our alpha prototypes of the Lucid Air and promised over 400 miles range; a reflection of our technology at that time. In the intervening period we have achieved a series of technological breakthroughs, culminating in an unsurpassed degree of energy efficiency.”
The PIF agreed a $1 billion investment deal with Lucid Motors two years ago to develop the car at a factory in Arizona.
The production version of the Lucid Air will debut in an online event on Sept. 9, 2020. In addition to the vehicle’s final interior and exterior designs, new details about production specifications, available configurations, and pricing information will also be shared.
Customer deliveries of the Lucid Air, which will be produced at Lucid’s new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, will begin in early 2021.