JEDDAH — The Philippine Consulate General here has decided to give shelter to nearly 200 stranded Filipino workers who have camped out in front of its premises to seek help for their repatriation.
The consulate gave them temporary shelter while the distressed workers’ papers are being processed.
Saudi authorities have agreed to move the stranded Filipinos to a safe house near the deportation area while the workers are awaiting repatriation, it said.
“We want to put them in a place where they can stay comfortably while they wait because the weather is extremely hot and that is what we worked out in the last few days,” Consul General Ezzedin Tago told the Saudi Gazette
Tago said around 200 workers, including more than 50 women and nearly 30 children, were taken to the Haj Terminal from the consulate by coaster.
Representative from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) said most of workers come from other parts of the Kingdom who went to Jeddah after getting a wrong information that they could be repatriated through the so-called “back door,” which used to be made available for overstaying umrah visitors.
POLO and OWWA officials said around 350 distressed workers want to be repatriated but only about 170 could be included in the list of those who can be repatriated immediately but all of them were accommodated in the safe house. - SG