By Leslie Ann Aquino
A recruitment expert believes overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia will resist plans to repatriate them.
Emmanuel S. Geslani particularly referred to OFWs working in oil facilities of Aramco.
“Certainly, our OFWs may resist plans to remove them from Aramco,” he said in a statement.
“Filipinos are highly respected in their work in Saudi Arabia and any effort to remove them from their workplace will cripple the operations of Aramco the oil exporting arm of Saudi Arabia which supplies 20% of crude oil to the Philippines,” added Geslani.
He said highly skilled professional Filipinos comprise the backbone of the operation of oil refineries which includes oil and gas engineers, refinery operators, welders, construction workers, computer technicians and others who are all highly paid with generous allowances and benefits.
“Most of our workers are earning anywhere from US$2,000 to 5,000 a month which is a pricey sum for OFWs,” Geslani said.
He also pointed out that OFWs working there, including their families, are staying in housing and accommodation areas that are almost 100 kilometers from the oil installations of Aramco.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Geslani said also has not issued any level of Alert to justify any plan to repatriate OFWs.
Earlier, the labor department said it is ready to repatriate OFWs from areas affected by the weekend bombing of oil plants in Saudi Arabia.
“We are ready for any eventual repatriation to ensure the safety and security of OFWs,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.