President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is looking forward to having better ties, particularly on green energy, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as he expressed gratitude to the middle eastern nation for taking care of Filipinos in its territory.

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. meets Saudi Foreign Minister His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Malacañang on September 29, 2022. The two leaders reviewed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries. (Malacañang photo)

Marcos said this after Saudi Foreign Minister H.H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud paid him a courtesy call in Malacañang on September 29.

In a tweet, the President thanked the Saudi royal for hosting Filipinos.

He likewise expressed the country’s eagerness to boost ties with KSA.

“During the courtesy call with Saudi Foreign Minister H.H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud today, we expressed our sincere gratitude for their government’s concern for the welfare of our overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia,” Marcos said.

“We are eager to strengthen our ties and broaden our collaboration, particularly in green energy, digital infrastructure, and agriculture,” he added.

In a series of tweets, the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia said Prince Faisal conveyed the Kingdom’s wish for the Philippines’ “continued success and prosperity.”

“During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries based on friendliness and joint cooperation in various fields,” it said.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that Prince Faisal had thanked officials in Manila “for the support of the Republic of the Philippines for the Kingdom’s candidacy to host the Expo 2030 in Riyadh.”

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Saudi Arabia continued to be the favorite destination of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in 2020, with around 470,820 OFWs based in the Kingdom. This number was 26.6 percent of the estimated 1.77 million OFWs in 2020.

However, the Philippines halted the deployment of new OFWs to KSA in November 2021 for several reasons, such as reported unpaid wages and allegations of abuse.

There were also reports that Saudi employers and recruiters made OFWs pay for Covid-19 testing, quarantine, and insurance upon their arrival in the Kingdom.

Early this month, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced that the Philippines would lift the said year-long ban on November 7, 2022, following bilateral talks on how to improve and protect the welfare of OFWs in KSA.

Source: Manila Bulletin (