MANILA — President Marcos is expected to make another foreign trip soon, this time to Saudi Arabia.
Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual told The STAR of the President’s state visit to Riyadh last Monday. Saudi Arabia is the top destination of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Saudi Ambassador Hisham Alqahtani confirmed the coming state visit, and revealed he would join the reception for the President.
Details of the trip have yet to be released, but Alqahtani said such a visit usually takes two to three days.
“Our two countries have had very strong relations through these years,” the ambassador said.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, 24.4 percent of the 1.83 million OFWs worked in Saudi Arabia in 2021.
Marcos has had 16 foreign trips since becoming president last year, the latest being his visit to Singapore to attend the Asia Summit 2023 and to watch the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix 2023.
In an interview after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Thailand last November, Marcos said he had accepted all invitations by fellow leaders to visit their countries but that everything would depend on his schedule and workload.
The President held bilateral meetings with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, China, France, New Zealand and Australia on the sidelines of the summit.
After Marcos’ bilateral meeting with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, Malacañang announced the Saudi government’s setting aside two billion riyals or about P30.5 billion to shoulder the unpaid salaries of about 10,000 OFWs who worked for Saudi construction firms that went bankrupt in 2015 and 2016. (philstar)