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Government urged: Ensure safety of OFWs in Middle East

Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman and senatorial aspirant Francis Tolentino urged the government yesterday to ensure the safety of more than two million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East.

Tolentino made the appeal amid the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran after protesters attacked its embassy in Tehran.

“The government should prioritize the repatriation of OFWs in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia. The government should prepare the logistics and resources if the situation there gets worse,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino added the government should be ready to provide jobs for the OFWs who might be jobless once they are repatriated.

He said the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia would affect the Philippines’ economy and labor market.

“Our economy is party buoyed by the remittances of OFWs from the Middle East,” he said.

Tolentino called on the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Foreign Affairs to prepare contingency measures for the Filipinos in the Middle East.

There are 1,028,802 OFWs in Saudi Arabia and 4,876 in Iran, according to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.           

FILIPINOS OVERSEAS FORMER METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FRANCIS TOLENTINO IRAN AND SAUDI ARABIA MIDDLE EAST NBSP OVERSEAS WORKERS WELFARE ADMINISTRATION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION SAUDI ARABIA SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAN TOLENTINO
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