MANILA, Philippines - After 23 years in Saudi Arabia, the 65-year-old overseas Filipino worker Nemesio Valencia is finally coming come.
Valencia was repatriated with the help of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, and is scheduled to arrive in Manila on Monday.
Valencia arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1989 and absconded from his employer in 1997 because of his mounting debt as a taxi driver. Since then, he has been working in the country illegally and has been virtually living on a couch in an apartment for the last year.
The embassy paid Valencia's immigration penalties in the amount of SR8,000 (around P92,000) and provided for his airfare to Manila.
Valencia thanked the embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh for their help.
"Nagpapasalat po ako kay Ambassador Tago at sa Embassy sa tulong na ibinigay nila sa akin. Nasasabik na po akong makita ang pamilya ko sa Batangas," said Valencia.
Philippine Ambassador to Riyadh Ezzedin H. Tago hoped Valencia will have a warm reunion with his family.
"After 23 of being away, Mr. Valencia will now be reunited with his family," he said.