Filtered By: Pinoyabroad
Pinoy Abroad

Saudi Arabia to pay 2 billion riyals for unpaid salaries of 10,000 Filipinos

BANGKOK, Thailand — The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has committed to allocate some 2 billion riyals for the unpaid salaries of some 10,000 overseas Filipinos employed by construction companies which declared bankruptcy.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. received the "good news" from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit here.

The crown prince is also Saudi Arabia's prime minister.

“Napakagandang balita talaga. At pinaghandaan talaga tayo ni Crown Prince. Kaya’t sabi niya ‘yung desisyon na ‘yan ay nangyari lamang noong nakaraang ilang araw at dahil nga magkikita kami at sabi niya ito ‘yung regalo ko para sa inyo,” Marcos said of Saudi Arabia's announcement.

(This is really good news. The Crown Prince really prepared for us. He said the decision was reached only a few days ago because we were scheduled to meet. He said this is my gift to you.)

Marcos said Saudi Arabia also assured an insurance system for the workers.

“Sila mismo magbibigay ng insurance kung sakali man mangyari ulit ‘yan na malugi ‘yung korporasyon na tinatrabahuan nila at hindi nila makuha ang kanilang sahod, ‘yung insurance ang magbabayad,” he said.

(They themselves will give the insurance, and if this happens again and companies go bankrupt and they do not receive their salaries, this will be paid by the insurance.)

The amount will cover the unpaid salaries of workers employed by firms such as Saudi OGer, MMG, the Bin Laden group, and other construction firms that have yet to pay back the Filipino workers.

According to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the commitment will cover the unpaid salaries of workers of firms which declared bankruptcy in the years 2015 and 2016.

A video of the meeting between the two leaders was posted online by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Marcos said he looks forward to receiving the Crown Prince in the Philippines to discuss more areas of cooperation moving forward.

“That would be very good kung makabisita sa atin si Crown Prince at hindi lamang tungkol sa mga labor, pati na ‘yung mga investments na pwede nating gawin,” he said.

“Napag-usapan namin ang energy, at dahil alam naman natin na ang largest producer ng petroleum sa buong mundo ay Saudi Arabia at tinulungan tayo ng Saudi Arabia nung ‘70s and ‘80s nung nagkaka-oil crisis, kaya’t baka sakali naman ay tayo maaring makiusap muli na tulungan ulit tayo,” he added.

(That would be very good if the Crown Prince would visit us and talk not just about labor but other possible investments. We discussed energy, and since Saudi Arabia is the world's largest petroleum producer and helped us during the oil crisis of the 1970s and 1980s, perhaps we can ask them to assist us again.)

Marcos was also scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with his counterpart from France, President Emmanuel Macron, on Friday afternoon.

He earlier had a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday afternoon, which he said was more of getting to know each other where they talked “a bit” about regional issues.

In the meeting, Xi was reported to have said that the two parties should stick to “friendly consultations” when dealing with issues involving the South China Sea.

Marcos arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday evening, accompanied by First Lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos, where he is set to have at least six bilateral meetings including one with Saudi Arabia and with France on Friday. —AOL/VBL, GMA Integrated News