Manila, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay returned home late Friday night after a brief visit to Saudi Arabia, where he attended the burial of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz in behalf of President Benigno Aquino III.
Binay, the concurrent Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ Concerns, arrived via Etihad Airways flight EY 428 with three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who had been staying at Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh.
At least 15 more are expected to be repatriated from Abu Dhabi by the end of the month, as soon as airline seats open up. The Haj season, which starts next week and normally attracts more than a million pilgrims to Makkah, has left virtually no space in the airlines plying the Manila-Middle East route.
While in Riyadh, Binay learned from Ambassador Ezzedin Tago that they had just completed repatriating more than 1,000 “overstayers“ at the Hajj Terminal in Jeddah last April. The said OFWs had been the subject of Binay’s appeal to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud for assistance. (JC Bello Ruiz)