BANGKOK — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday said more job opportunities await Filipinos in Saudi Arabia amid the Middle Eastern kingdom's “building boom.”
Marcos said Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) told him about his kingdom's plan to hire more foreign workers in the near future.
"Sinabi ko nga nung after the 1973 oil crisis, the building boom of Saudi Arabia was the one [that] instigated the new surge of OFWs and he (MBS) immediately stopped me and he said, ‘That’s not a building boom, the one that’s coming is the building boom. That’s nothing compared to what we are going to do, so we will need more workers,’” Marcos said in a press conference.
“So that’s another opportunity for us,” he said.
Marcos has yet to say what types of jobs Saudi has to offer for Filipinos.
The Philippines has also yet to seal agreements on possible oil deals with Saudi Marcos said.
“Sa fuel, oil supply, we touched upon it but we just have to pursue it further. ‘Yung fertilizer mukhang mas madali, baka meron tayong makuha sa kanila,” he said.
“Sabi niya (MBS), well we can discuss it again. So babalikan natin lahat yun.”
Discussions during the Philippines and Saudi’s bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit had more focus on labor, the Filipino President said.
The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) earlier said that Saudi has agreed to pay the unpaid salaries of Filipino workers who worked for Saudi construction companies that declared bankruptcy in 2015 and 2016.
Saudi officials also told their Filipino counterparts that an insurance system would be crafted to ensure that the non-payment of wages within the Kingdom would not happen again, the DMW said.