A plunge in oil prices in Saudi Arabia caused construction layoffs leaving thousands of Filipinos, Indians, and Pakistanis jobless and stranded as of August 2.

According to Garry Martinez, chairman of the Migrante Group that works for millions of OFW’S worldwide, some of these Filipinos have been unpaid for months and are now forced to beg and go through garbage in order to survive. 

As many as 20,000 Filipinos could be affected by the situation. Meanwhile, Manila has extended financial aid for them, according to Migrant Coordinator Gilbert Saludo. However, he also said that there was no telling until when this aide could last.


Saludo claimed that the labour problem could worsen in time.

"It will get much worse because so much of the income of Saudi Arabia comes from oil... so their budget for infrastructure and other projects will not be met and more people will be affected," he told the Agence France-Presse.

Saudi’s plunging oil prices render thousands unemployed and stranded
Photo by worldbulletin.net
According to the Philippine Labor Department, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello visited Saudi Arabia last July to address the problem. 

Last Monday, India stated that they were negotiating with Saudi authorities to retrieve around 10,000 of their nationals who do not have the money to go home after having lost their jobs. The largest population of Indians outside of their country is in Saudi, with the number reaching nearly three million, according to the foreign ministry.

Pakistan gave a confirmation that its nationals were stranded, but provided no number. It has set up a special center and fund to provide aid, food, medicine and shelter to its nationals.

The office of the prime minister stated, "The [Pakistani] embassy has further informed that Saudi King has issued a decree for urgent payment of dues to workers by the concerned." Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that they will help their workers “in all possible ways”.

Meanwhile, Migrante officials said that Filipinos could not leave because they lacked proper permits or were still awaiting months of back pay. MJM


Saudi’s plunging oil prices render thousands unemployed and stranded Saudi’s plunging oil prices render thousands unemployed and stranded Reviewed by FilipiNews PH on Wednesday, August 03, 2016 Rating: 5

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