17 May 2013
15 stranded OFWs in KSA will be home May 18
‘Initial victory of the stranded OFWs collective mass action’
Thus, said today by Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) upon receiving confirmation on the repatriation of the fifteen (15) stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The 15, all male, are among the around 200 stranded OFWs who have encamped inside the PH embassy compound in Riyadh since May 4.
Some of the 200 stranded OFWs at PH embassy premises in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia while awaiting embassy and labor officials for a dialog but they were not attended. MIGRANTE File photo dated May 4, 2013
“We received a confirmed report from our Migrante colleagues in Riyadh that the 15 stranded OFWs is schedule to leave Saudi Arabia onboard flight Gulf Air GF-0168 via Bahrain International airport at 6:00 p.m. Friday, May 17,” said MIGRANTE vice chairperson John Leonard Monterona, also the regional coordinator of Migrante International in the Middle East.
If there are no hassles on their repatriation documents, the 15 stranded OFWs expected arrival onboard GF-0154 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) the following day, Saturday, May 18, at around 10:55 a.m., according to Monterona citing the flight schedules their group got from embassy official who requested anonymity.
“This is an initial victory of the stranded OFWs for taking up decisive collective action such as staging an encampment inside the PH embassy compound to press the PH govt. through embassy and labor officials in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, though they have been requesting assistance for their repatriation since last year,” Monterona claimed.
“Again and again, we have proven that decisive collective mass action by the OFWs themselves is the best antidote to government inaction and dilly-dallying in providing assistance to distressed, stranded, and abused OFWs,” Monterona adding that, ideally, it should not always be the case if only Embassy and labor officials abroad are doing their duty par excellence meeting the demands of their jobs as public servant.
Monterona said he is expecting that more stranded OFWs in Riyadh and Jeddah will be sent home in the coming days.
“About 30 stranded OFWs have been sent to Saudi deportation centers in Jeddah, and we hope they will soon be repatriated after verification of their immigration status,” Monterona added.
Monterona further said Migrante chapters in Saudi Arabia will continue to provide assistance to women stranded OFWs with kids and those who are old and sick.
His group will continue soliciting donations such as food, water, medicines, and sanitations for those who are still at ‘Tent City’ in Jeddah and those who are still inside the PH embassy compound in Riyadh.
“We would like to express our appreciation to the Filipino communities and OFW groups and individuals who never cease to send their donations and as well as their moral support to the stranded OFWs. Our ‘free, swift, mass repatriation’ campaign will continue until the last batch of stranded OFWs will be sent home,” Monterona ended. # # #
John Leonard Monterona
MIGRANTE vice chairperson
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No. 0063 923 420 0112