Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs
By EDD K. USMAN & DEEN MOHAMMAD
MANILA/RIYADH (SDN) — OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), have been receiving their Php10,000 financial assistance. This despite the pandemic surging in the KSA.
ThePhilippine Overseas Labor Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-POLO) Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa is at the helm of POLO-Riyadh. His personnels are handing out the money door-to-door, apparently to make sure OFWs who applied and qualified for the “Abot Kamay Ang Pagtulong (DOLE-AKAP) assistance Program will receive the US$200 aid.
DOLE has intended to provide the assistance to 150,000 land- and sea-based OFWs. But more than 400,000 applied.
POLO-Riyadh is scouring Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh and the Riyadh Central Region, braving the unseen enemy of humanity, the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
As of June 27, news reports said, the Kingdom has over 179,000 confirmed infections of the coronavirus, 122,128 recovered patients, and fatalities at 1,511.
The pandemic, in fact, forced the temporary closure on June 14 of POLO-Riyadh as many of Mustafa’s staff tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus. POLO-Riyadh has more than 30 employees.
Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto announced the closure much earlier. He told SDN — Science & Digital News there were 13 POLO-Riyadh personnel who tested positive for Covid-19.
Ambassador Alonto added that officials, staff, and employees of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh are also undergoing mass RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) testing by a Riyadh medical institution, the Habib Medical Group.
POLO-Riyadh suspended as well the online application for the monetary aid as it awaits additional funds from DOLE.
More than 20,000 OFWs applied with POLO-Riyadh.
In photographs from Mustafa’ Facebook page, here are some lucky OFWs who got their Php10,000 DOLE-AKAP assistance:
The KSA is home to over 800,000 OFWs, more than 400,000 of them in Riyadh. (SDN)