Philippine President Marcos’ Upcoming Visit to Saudi Arabia: A Step Towards Strengthening International Relations
President Marcos’ Scheduled Visit
Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual recently announced that Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is due to visit Saudi Arabia soon. The specifics of the trip are yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to last between two and three days. Saudi Ambassador Hisham Alqahtani, who confirmed the impending visit, will be part of the reception for the President.
The Importance of Saudi Arabia for the Philippines
Saudi Arabia holds significant importance for the Philippines, as it is the top destination for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). As per the Philippine Statistics Authority, in 2021, 24.4 percent of the 1.83 million OFWs were employed in Saudi Arabia.
President Marcos’ International Visits
The upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia is one among many international trips undertaken by President Marcos since he assumed office. He has visited 16 countries so far, with his most recent trip being to Singapore for the Asia Summit 2023 and the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix 2023. During these trips, Marcos often holds bilateral meetings with the leaders of the countries he visits.
Saudi Government Support for OFWs
In a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, it was announced that the Saudi government has allocated two billion riyals (approximately P30.5 billion) to cover the unpaid salaries of around 10,000 OFWs. These workers were employed by Saudi construction firms that went bankrupt in 2015 and 2016, leaving them without their due wages.
President Marcos’ Commitment to International Relations
President Marcos has expressed that he accepts all invitations from fellow leaders to visit their countries. However, his ability to do so depends on his schedule and workload. His visits to these countries signify his commitment to maintaining and strengthening international relations.
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