One hundred fifty-two Filipino workers who availed of the amnesty offered by the Saudi Arabian government have returned to the Philippines Thursday.
They are among about 16,000 Filipino migrant workers who are classified as undocumented and had been living in the Kingdom illegally and have been staying in shelters after fleeing from their employers.
According to ABS-CBN News, Diosy Batiller, one of the returning Filipinos, had been out of work for the past two months due to salary disagreement with her employer.
Photo: Jacque Manabat / Twitter
“We always fight. I was the one rendering service but I was the one being asked to pay, that’s why I left,” Batiller said.
A 90-day amnesty period was announced by Saudi Arabia aimed at allowing illegal residents to be allowed to return to their home countries without penalty. An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 Filipino workers are expected to avail of the program, in which the Philippine government will shoulder airfare costs as well as other forms of assistance to amnesty applicants, said Cesar Chavez Jr, a representative of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Upon their return to the Philippines, the OFWs will be provided with temporary accommodation by OWWA.