MANILA: The Saudi ambassador to the Philippines has praised the contribution of Filipinos to the development of the Kingdom during celebrations in Manila to mark the Kingdom’s National Day.
Workers from the Philippines began to arrive in Saudi Arabia in the early 1970s. Most of them were engineers who helped build highways across the Kingdom.
Today, more than 800,000 of them live in Saudi Arabia, making it the preferred destination for overseas Filipino workers.
“The Kingdom appreciates the contributions of overseas Filipino workers in various areas, which have played a crucial role in the Kingdom’s advancement,” Ambassador Hisham Al-Qahtani said during a ceremony commemorating the 93rd Saudi National Day on Monday evening.
“We greatly value the mutual support and collaboration between our countries, as seen through our active participation in regional and international forums, enhancing economic cooperation and fostering a strong partnership.”
Saudi Arabia and the Philippines will mark the 54th anniversary of bilateral ties next month, and Al-Qahtani extended his best wishes to the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Marcos is expected to visit Saudi Arabia in October to attend the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, which will be held in Riyadh.
“His visit will further strengthen the strong, friendly, and vibrant relations that happily exist between our two countries and peoples,” said Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Antonio Morales, who represented Secretary Enrique Manalo during the National Day event.
“I am confident that our countries can continue working together and build upon our strong bilateral ties with a shared vision of inclusive progress and sustainable growth.”
Saudi Arabia has been seen in the Philippines as “the epitome of a nation with a vision for the future,” Morales said.
“The whole world now sees Saudi Arabia as a model of bridging the past and the future where heritage and history are intertwined with urbanism, cultural shifts, and international competitiveness. The Kingdom’s foresight towards a thriving economy and a vibrant society will open up opportunities for a brighter tomorrow.”