Kin of OFWs in Saudi “Tent City” hound DFA offices nationwide

After the opening salvo of protests of families of stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in what is now known as the “Tent City” in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, more families from different provinces and regions in the country are trooping to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) satellite offices to demand their kin’s immediate repatriation.

Families of OFWs camped out of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah from the Southern Tagalog and Davao regions today stormed DFA satellite offices in Lucena and Davao City, respectively.

Tomorrow, families from the Central Luzon region will hold a rally at the DFA satellite office in Pampanga.

On Wednesday, April 24, more families and some recently-repatriated OFWs from the Tent City campout will once again stage a protest at the DFA Main Office in Manila.

On Friday, families from Davao and General Santos City will hound respective DFA satellite offices in their areas anew. Meanwhile, members of Migrante-Moro are planning to hold a solidarity protest at the DFA in Manila. Majority of OFWs in the Jeddah campout are Muslims.

On April 29, Monday, families from Laguna and nearby provinces will hold a rally at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) satellite office in Calamba to demand immediate relief for their kin whilst awaiting repatriation. The OFWs are in dire need of shelter, food, water and medical assistance.

At least 2,500 OFWs, including women and children, are presently camped outside of the PH Consulate in Jeddah. They are seeking immediate repatriation after the Saudi government launched a massive martial-law style crackdown on undocumented migrant workers in the region. The OFWs are all undocumented, trafficking victims and “runaways” from abusive employers.

On April 29, Monday, families and their loved ones in Saudi will hold a simultaneous press conference to announce the planned “solidarity campout-caravan” of families on April 30 to May 1.

The families will troop to the main offices of the DFA and OWWA in Manila on April 30, then proceed to Mendiola and the big May 1 multisectoral rally at the Liwasang Bonifacio on May 1.  ###

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