Twenty Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia have been selling their blood in order to send money to their families in the Philippines as they have not received any pay for six months. Photo: File

Around 20 Filipino workers stranded in Saudi Arabia say they are having to sell their own blood to raise money for their families after being unpaid by an unnamed company for six months.

More than 200 Filipinos who worked for the company have been left in dire straits and are pleading for the Philippine government’s help to bring them home, ABS-CBN News reported.

About 20 of them say they have resorted to selling their blood in order to have enough money to support their families back home. They said they could sell their blood for 300 to 400 riyals (US$80 to $107) per bag.

“We can put up with the hardships here, but we cannot let our families in the Philippines suffer,” one of the workers said in Tagalog.

James Mendiola, welfare officer at the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah, said staff were in talks with the company trying to get it to provide assistance for the stranded workers.

“We are consistently following up with the management and demanding that they pay for the repatriation of the Filipinos immediately,” Mendiola said in Tagalog.

According to the Philippine Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s Jeddah office, of the 279 Filipino workers stranded, 63 have been given clearance and plane tickets to the Philippines. They are scheduled to leave on Sunday.

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