291 Philippine workers return after amnesty
Two hundred ninety-one overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) took advantage of amnesty from the Saudi government, and returned to the Philippines on Thursday.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Deputy Administrator for Operations, Brigido Dulay, said there are about 6,900 OFWs who have received amnesty this year as of Wednesday, according to a report by the state-run Philippine News Agency.
Dulay said the Philippine government is expecting 7,000 - 8,000 OFWs who overstayed or have stayed in Saudi Arabia without documents to be granted amnesty by July 24.
That date is the Saudi deadline for amnesty to undocumented residents and labor law violators.
Saudi Arabia announced a 90-day amnesty period wherein all residence violators would be allowed to return to their home countries without being penalized.
The 291 OFWs were among 16,000 Filipinos living illegally in Saudi Arabia.
Dulay said that the agency was instructed by President Rodrigo Duterte to provide all the necessary support for the repatriated workers, especially those in Saudi Arabia where there is the highest number of OFWs.
The Philippine government assured assistance to returning workers in the form of plane tickets, cash grants and other forms of support.