According to a report by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), more than 9,000 OFWs have been helped during the first 100 days in office of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Judy Taguiwalo, DSWD Secretary, said in a statement that over 9,000 Filipinos affected by the Middle East oil crisis have received psychosocial intervention to convince the stranded OFWs to return to the Philippines. Many of them have also received food and hygiene packs. Plus OFWs who needed regional referrals to return home were also assisted.
Taguiwalo said “We are very happy for the success of the humanitarian mission and we laud the efforts of the members of the DSWD team who worked very hard to reach out to our stranded kababayans in the KSA.”
The DSWD, of course, is one of the main agencies in the multi-agency humanitarian team tasked to address the difficulties experienced by stranded OFWs, particularly those in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Taguiwalo went to specify that a total of 9.476 OFWs received help from her department, some of whom were working for Saudi Bin Laden Group, Saudi Oger, Mohammad Al-Mojil (MMG), and other sub-contracting companies.
Out of the total figure, 4,147 are from Jeddah, 3,588 are from Riyadh, and 1,741 are from Al Khobar/Dammam.
The Secretary, however, is quick to point out that “much remains to be done because so many OFWs remain in dire straits in different part of Saudi Arabia.”
She added, “We have to continue our efforts to reach them and give them the assistance they need until they can return safely to the Philippines.”
Many OFWs have expressed appreciation for the concern and efforts of President Duterte.
57-year-old Maria Divina, who works as a medical secretary in the UAE, praised the President for showing “great courage to stand and face the problems for his country.”