Over 3,000 OFWs in Saudi seek repatriation: envoy

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2020 01:45 PM | Updated as of Jun 10 2020 05:33 PM

MANILA- Over 3,000 Filipino migrant workers in Saudi Arabia want to return to the Philippines, Philippine Ambassador Adnan Alonto said Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic threatens more job losses.

The repatriation of the workers will be processed once they secure the necessary documents, Alonto said.

"We are going to send them home on a first come, first served basis," the envoy said in a virtual press briefing.

Some 41,000 overseas Filipino workers from different countries have already been repatriated, according to Hans Leo Cacdac, chief of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, last Sunday. 

Alonto also confirmed receiving reports of discrimination against Filipinos in Saudi Arabia who were infected with COVID-19.

He said he has raised the issue with the kingdom's health ministry and was assured that Filipinos would be given equal treatment for healthcare.

"I want to first assure our people that the Embassy, ang inyong lungkod ho, ay gumagawa ng lahat ng hakbang para itong mga reports na ganito ay maiwasan natin," he said.

As of June 9, the Department of Foreign Affairs said there are 5,401 cases of COVID-19 among Filipinos abroad. This includes 380 deaths and 2,295 recoveries.