Saudi Arabia needs workers, says envoy

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Saudi Ambassador to the Philippines Abdullah Al-Bussairy on Monday, May 23, said the demand for Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia had been on a steady rise despite the continuing decline in global oil prices.

The ambassador made this announcement as he turned over some 100 metric tons of pressed dates to the Philippine government as a special gift of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Al-Bussairy said the Saudi embassy in Manila processes more than 1,000 visas every day for Filipinos, making the Arab state one of the top countries issuing visas to Filipinos next to the United States.

“There are more than one million Filipinos in Saudi Arabia and they are safe and secure. The Saudi government respects them because of their (economic) contribution,” the ambassador told the Inquirer.

He said the number of visa applicants “has not declined” despite the downward trend in global oil prices.

Migrant workers groups have raised concerns on the possible massive displacement of Filipinos in Saudi Arabia due to the continuing declined in oil prices that caused the closure of companies.

“The reports are not true. In fact, Saudi Arabia needs more foreign workers,” said Al-Bussairy.