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Duterte to bring home 160 OFW runaways in Saudi

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By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Around 160 overseas Filipino worker (OFW) runaways in Saudi Arabia will be going home soon, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday, April 12.

SAUDI WELCOME – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (left) is received by Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Al Saud, governor of Riyadh, on his arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, April 10. (Malacañang Photo)

SAUDI WELCOME – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (left) is received by Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Al Saud, governor of Riyadh, on his arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, April 10. (Malacañang Photo) Manila Bulletin File Photo

This came after he signed a bilateral agreement on labor standards with his Saudi counterpart Labor Minister Ali al-Ghufays Tuesday, April 11.

Bello, in a press conference in Riyadh, said the Labor Minister responded positively when he mentioned this desire of President Duterte to bring home undocumented OFWs.

“I mentioned to the Minister of Labor that there are about more or less 160 runaways and requested the Minister to consider allowing all these OFWs to come back to the Philippines upon the return of President Duterte. To my surprise, he positively responded to our request,” he said.

According to Bello, these OFWs, who are victims of illegal recruitment, can possibly come home to the Philippine as early as April 16 but it will still depend on how fast the Saudi Labor Ministry can process their appeal.

Meanwhile, Bello has encouraged the undocumented OFWs in the Kingdom to apply for the amnesty program declared by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

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