The distribution of food assistance for Filipino workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh was forcedly stopped after the Saudi Ministry of Labor noticed a crowd gathered at the Embassy premises.
Since last week, ‘food assistance’ was distributed by POLO Riyadh to Filipinos who were gravely affected by the recent global pandemic.
“The POLO Eastern Region Operations said POLO also clarifies that it is not giving food allowance to workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis, but rather provides food assistance (in kind, not cash) upon request from workers who have stopped working because of the lockdown and are denied of income due to the “no work, no pay” policy,” says Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa.
A netizen once shared a video on social media regarding the situation inside the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh after food assistance was given and people started to line up outside the Embassy.
All you need to show is your passport and you will be given a document that will be your ticket to free goods such as rice, corned beef, noodles, sardines, coffee, soy sauce, cooking oil, vinegar, salt, toothpaste, bath and laundry soap.
Filipino workers need to go to a Pinoy Supermarket in Batha, Riyadh to get food assistance from POLO.
Ito ang sirwasyon ng mga kababayan natin na pumila, nagpagod at namasahe sa halagang 100 riyals per person at 600 Riyals naman sa 5-9 persons. Nasaan po ang sistema, social distancing, control number ng mga papel ng food assistance? Mayroon po bang loopholes?
Posted by FAPS International on Sunday, March 29, 2020
Due to the influx of people outside the Embassy, Saudi police noticed the commotion and stopped the giving of free food assistance.
Labor Attache II ReydeluzConderido talked to the deputy director-general of the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development and reasoned out how these Filipino workers were abandoned by their employers.
In return, the deputy director-general promised to communicate with the employers of these displaced Filipino workers.
Conderido encourages these distressed Filipinos to send a message to the following number together with their Full Name as stated on their passport, Iqama Number, request or concern, the full name of their employer and their phone number and Full name of their company and its address.
“Huwag po sanang tumawag at overwhelmed kami ng bilang ninyo. Wala po kaming Call Center at may iba pa kaming importanteng gawain maliban sa sumagot sa telepono,” Conferido reminds the OFWs.