THE DEPARTMENT of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Wednesday said four overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were jailed in Saudi Arabia over debt have been released and returned to the Philippines. 

“We are thankful to the Saudi government for the assistance, and we will be providing them with financial and reintegration assistance,” Migrant Workers Undersecretary Hans J. Cacdac told a virtual news briefing. 

He said the four OFWs, who were jailed for four years over debt, arrived in the country on Monday. The DMW will provide jobs and psychological assistance to the migrant workers and their families. 

“Eventually, the Saudi authorities saw that it was time for their release, and this is illustrative of the work we will do to assist our OFWs,” the DMW official said. 

In March, Migrant Workers Secretary Maria Susanna V. Ople said Saudi Arabia plans to hire about a million skilled Filipino workers in the next 18 to 24 months through a special employment program. 

The Saudi government promised President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in November that it would settle the unpaid wages and other benefits of Filipino workers who were laid off by private Saudi employers in 2015 to 2016. — John Victor D. Ordoñez