One hundred seventy-three (173) OFWs from Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, employed by Saudi Oger, one of the companies which suffered financial setback as a result of the dip in the price of oil in the world market, are set to return at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon today, Monday, 17 October 2016, via Saudia Airlines flight SV 870.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello lll, will welcome the repatriated OFWs and accord necessary assistance to them. Yesterday, Sunday, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac led the agency personnel in extending assistance to 83 distressed OFWs, also from Saudi Oger.
Aside from airport assistance, the OFWs will also be offered temporary stay at the OWWA Halfway Home, transportation fare onward to their respective provinces, stress debriefing, among others.
“The OWWA Repatriation and Assistance Division (RAD), as well as the OWWA 24/7 Operations Center are in full alert in anticipation of the Filipino migrant workers’ schedules of arrivals. Flight advisories are sent to OWWA via email or at times thru text messaging, after final arrangements with airlines and completion of travel documents for OFWs are undertaken by the Philippine Embassy, in coordination with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO),” OWWA Administrator Cacdac explains.
Aside from the post-arrival services, returning OFWs who have not yet availed of OWWA’s Relief Assistance Program (RAP) are given immediate attention to process their claim before they return to their provinces/residences.
Relief Assistance Program (RAP)
As of 14 October 2016, OWWA has extended Relief Assistance Program (RAP) to 18,156 stranded OFWs disbursing a total of P398,476,031.06. These OFWs include those who are still at worksites in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and those who had been repatriated. In relation to this, RAP was also provided to 10,750 families with a total sum of P67,940,000.00. Total cost for the financial aid from the last week of July 2016 up to 14 October 2016 was placed at a total of P466,416,031.06.
The OWWA Augmentation Team sent to KSA assisted in the processing of RAP applications, and distributed food and hygiene kits to 13,245 OFW availees which amounted to P2,310,295,82.
At the home front, post repatriation service expenses covering land transportation, and food and toiletries to OFWs accommodated at the OWWA Halfway Home reached the total of P866,725.97.