More than 100 migrant workers repatriated from Saudi Arabia after problems with their employment will be given financial support and offered jobs in an infrastructure program by the Philippine authorities.

Hans Leo Cacdac, administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), said they would be integrated into the Build, Build, Build scheme, as most had experience in infrastructure fields.

“We will provide employment facilitation. The Department of Public Works and Highways and various contractors are looking for supplementary manpower which fits [their] skills,” Cacdac said.

Cacdac said the migrant workers would also get financial aid of PHP20,000 (US$378) and could apply for livelihood assistance if they chose to stay in the country for good, Philippine News Agency reported.

“A seminar will be arranged for them and they will be required to submit their respective business plans. We will teach them how to do it.”

The 110 workers were repatriated from Dammam in Saudi Arabia on December 8, with 88 forced out when their employer Azmeel Contracting & Construction in Al Khobar was affected by lockdowns at work sites. They claim to be still owed some wages and overtime pay.

A further 18 migrant workers were laid off by Rakan Trading & Contracting Company, and four employees of the Samama group went home following alleged contract violations by their Saudi employer.

The OWWA and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration have said they will provide legal assistance to any workers who want to file complaints against their former employers or recruitment agencies.