THE association of Philippine Licensed Recruitment Industries on Friday distributed early Christmas presents to families of displaced overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia.
The PLRA gave a second relief assistance to some 1,000 families of stranded OFWs last Sept. 30 at the SM City Trade Hall in Pampanga.
The relief assistance is an initiative of the private recruitment sector to help the welfare efforts of the government, in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration, particularly providing temporary aid for the families of the OFWs.
The first phase was launched at the Cuneta Astrodome last Sept. 15 , where 400 members of the stranded workers were given cash and grocery items worth P1.2 million. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and ACTS-OFW Party-list Rep. John Bertiz led the simple gift giving.
For the second phase in Pampanga, 1,000 family members of the stranded OFWs who are residents of Pampanga and the nearby provinces each received P1,500 cash and grocery items worth P500 for a total of P2 million from the PLRA and major donor Amanda Araneta, president of the Philippine Association of Agencies for Kuwait, and the Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic and Service Workers.
Most of the family members have received assistance from OWWA in the amount of P6,000, while those OFWs who have returned from Saudi have been given P20,000 relief assistance.
The DoLE has repatriated almost 2,000 workers from Saudi Arabia, with a remaining 1,000 to be sent home by the end of October. Some 6,000 workers have opted to stay in Saudi, finding work in other companies that have vacancies while waiting for their long-delayed salaries from the beleaguered companies that are negotiating with the government for new loans to pay thousands of expatriate workers, whose salaries were delayed from 10-12 months since 2015.