Presidential Adviser Borje and two more senior officials fly to Saudi Arabia
Malacañang sends delegation to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
MANILA – Presidential Adviser on Foreign Affairs Robert E. A. Borje left for Saudi Arabia tonight for an official visit to the Kingdom hoping to deepen existing bilateral ties, advance labor reform cooperation and ensure the welfare of Filipinos in the oil-rich country.
In a statement from the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), it was learned the visit was part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Kalinga at Malasakit for overseas Filipino workers, particularly during the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The delegation is expected to meet with officials of the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD), the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, and other relevant Saudi offices.
Undersecretary Borje is expected to relay President Duterte’s messages on the importance of the partnership and cooperation between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He is also expected to deliver President Duterte’s letter to His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. It will be recalled President Duterte congratulated King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and described Saudi Arabia’s Labor Reform Initiative (LRI) as a landmark initiative to extend benefits to migrant workers in the Kingdom, including overseas Filipino workers.
Recently, President Duterte spoke with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud in an overseas call and both renewed the commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations, including that of trade and investments, as well as to intensify cooperation in migrant workers’ rights.
The delegation is expected to meet the officials of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the Philippine Consulate-General in Jeddah and members of the Filipino community. They will also oversee the repatriation missions for Filipinos affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accompanying Undersecretary Borje to the trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola and Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary for Global Media and Public Affairs JV Arcena.
Presidential Adviser Borje was earlier named Special Envoy to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia in 2019.
There were 865,721 Filipinos in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as of June 30,2020. (Melo M. Acuña)
Presidential Adviser on Foreign Affairs Robert E. A. Borje. (PCOO File Photo)