Stranded workers scavenge for food through rubbish bins in Saudi Arabia

Workers stranded in Saudi Arabia during the coronavirus pandemic are having to scavenge through bins for their next meal.

Footage taken on June 13 shows Filipino cousins Byron Punzalan and Marco Maala rummaging through trash to find discarded food that can still be eaten.

The pair both lost their jobs as factory workers when their Riyadh-based company the coronavirus Covid-19 restrictions had closed down the business.

They are still living in their company accommodation block along with hundreds of others who have also been laid off.

Byron's wife Gerly Reancho, who is in the Philippines, said she tried to contact her husband's recruitment agency but to no avail.

She said: "I'm saddened with what my husband and his colleagues have to go through because of the pandemic. I hope someone would help us bring them home."

Meanwhile, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Cacdac said the workers will immediately be given food assistance after the video has reached them.

He said: "We had coordinated the cases of the workers to their respective recruitment agencies to speed up their rescue.

"There have been repatriation efforts from the embassy and the labour office where the workers are."

Saudi Arabia accounts for the majority of Filipino migrant workers in the Middle East with more 900,000 documented workers based there, according to 2015 data from the Department of Foreign Affairs.