OFWs allegedly scouring trash for food ‘resorted to theatrics’, says PH envoy

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 20 2020 07:52 PM

MANILA—Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto said Filipino migrant workers in Riyadh appearing in a viral video showing them scouring trash for food “resorted to theatrics to catch attention.” 

In a tweet, Alonto reiterated that “food assistance was given.” 

“If reports reaching me are true, I’m disappointed with some of our people who have resorted to theatrics to catch attention. Fact is food assistance was given. Mamulot ng basura? C’mon!” Alonto said.

Alonto said repatriating OFWs remains the goal and exit visas need to be granted and more flights are needed. He said the Embassy is addressing the issue. 

“The fact is food assistance was given. [Repatriation] is the goal. Well, exit visas need to be granted and more flights needed. That’s the truth. We are on it. Sana walang drama,” Alonto said. 

The OFWs in the video said they received food packs from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, but it was not enough. 

The workers also alleged they have not been paid for four months by their company.