Arroyo: Saudi OFWs’ jobs ‘safe’
MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assured Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia that their jobs are “safe” despite the world financial crisis, and that her government is prepared to assist overseas workers who may be laid off in other parts of the world.
“Dito sa Saudi ang pinakamalaking expatriate Filipino community sa buong mundo. Gusto kong tiyakin na matatg ang trabaho ninyo dito sa kabila ng pandaigdigang krisis sa ekonomiya, dahil may mga kababayang nawawalan ng trabaho sa ibat-ibang bansa. [The biggest expatriate Filipino community in the world is in Saudi. I want to assure you that your jobs are secure here, because in other parts of the world, our countrymen are losing their jobs],” Arroyo said in a speech before the Filipino community in Riyadh.
Arroyo and her party made a brief stop in Saudi Arabia from Italy, before proceeding to Bahrain for an official visit.
“Sa mga panahong ito na nanunubok sa mga expatriates, ang inyong pamahalaan ay hindi natutulog [During these trying times for our expatriates, your government is not sleeping on the job],” she said.
“For government, it is now payback time. The heroic efforts of the expatriate workers will not go unreciprocated. A program of full reciprocity shall be carried out to help those who lose their jobs,” she said.
Arroyo said the government has set up a P1-billion fund for microfinance loans for retrenched overseas Filipino workers.
The Department of Labor will also help retrenched OFWs find news jobs abroad, Arroyo said, adding that government has started a “marketing blitz” to look for more job overseas opportunities.
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