MANILA (19 June 2020) -– There are a total of 23,000 displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh reported on Thursday.

“There are many reasons. First, their companies have stopped operations. Second, no work, no pay. Third, they are undocumented workers. Some of them are runaway and they are asking for repatriation,” Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa said in an online press briefing.

Out of this number, around 5,000 have obtained final exit visas.

Mustafa, meanwhile, said they are still working from home after 16 of their personnel tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We temporarily suspended operations for the safety of the OFWs. We also conducted disinfection of the building. We are working from home but we still assist our OFWs,” he said.

He added that they continue to respond to calls, offer consulting services to clients, and provide counseling to OFWs in distress on a 24/7 basis.The POLO temporarily suspended its operations on June 14. (ia/PNA)