A Palace official said yesterday that the government is prepared to assist the thousands of Filipinos overseas workers who will be displaced by the "Saudization" policy in the oil-rich Middle Eastern Kingdom.
The Philippine government has allocated some P2 billion reintegration fund for returning Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia, Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said.
He said that with the contingency measures in place, government agencies like the departments of labor and employment and foreign affairs assured the "limited" effects of "Saudization" policy.
Under the Saudi's labor policy, the Kingdom has given illegal foreign workers until yesterday to correct their status or leave.
The DOLE is expected to administer the fund while government banks will serve as channels, Coloma added.
He said Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is also presidential adviser on OFW concerns, already wrote Saudi King Abdullah seeking an extension of the Nov. 3 deadline.
The DFA, had also sent its representative for the immediate repatriation of Filipinos affected by the new labor policy.
There are now more than 4,000 OFWs who have returned to the Philippines while some 9,000 had received their travel documents.
Coloma said that there are still about 1,500 OFWs waiting for clearance from immigration.*PNA