Marcos looking forward to visit of Saudi Crown Prince Salman to Philippines
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is looking forward to the visit of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman in the Philippines.
“That would be very good if the Crown Prince will be able to visit us and (we can discuss) not only about labor, we can also discuss about investments,” Marcos said following his bilateral meeting with Salman on the sidelines of the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in Thailand.
“We have discussed energy, and we know that the largest producer of petroleum in the world is Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia helped us during the oil crisis in the ‘70s and ‘80s, that is why maybe we can ask them to help us again," he added.
Marcos did not say when Salman plans to visit the Philippines but he said in an interview with reporters Saturday afternoon that the Crown Prince told him :''Soon.''
In the same interview, Marcos said more talks are needed on the issue of cheaper oil supply from Saudi Arabia. He added that it appears the country may have more chances of getting fertilizer from Saudi Arabia.
Marcos said Salman also announced that his government will shoulder the unpaid salaries of around 10,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who worked for Saudi construction companies that declared bankruptcy.
He said an insurance system for the OFW will also be set up.
“They will provide insurance so that this will not happen again and they cannot get their salary in case of corporation bankruptcy, the insurance will pay them. So the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia really helps us a lot,” said the President," he added.
According to Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople, Salman announced his government's gift to the displaced OFWs who were affected after the construction companies of Saudi OGer, MMG, and the Bin Laden group declared bankruptcy in 2015 and 2016.
"The Crown Prince, His Royal Highness, announced and said that this was his gift, he really prepared for this and this was an agreement reached by the Saudi government just a few days ago," Ople said.
"So they have set aside two billion riyals to help our displaced workers. So this is really good news and we thank Saudi Arabia," she added. Robina Asido/DMS