Toots Ople announces breakthrough for OFWs in Saudi Arabia

Toots Ople announces breakthrough for OFWs in Saudi Arabia

By Junex Doronio
November 6, 2022

MANILA — With the resumption of deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople has announced a breakthrough in the protection of OFWs.

The KSA has lifted the deployment ban of OFWs effective Monday, November 7, accompanied by a country-specific employment contract after the Philippines and Saudi Arabia agreed on reforms in labor policies.

“For the first time, magkakaroon na tayo ng country specific employment contract. Yung contrata na ito specific sa OFWs bound for Saudi,” Ople bared in her interview with Super Radyo dzBB on Saturday, November 5.

She added that there will be no more instances that OFWs will suffer from unpaid salaries.

“Nandoon na yung insurance coverage para sa domestic workers. Ang magbabayad n’yan ‘yung Saudi employers. Yung insurance coverage din para sa skilled at construction workers ang magbabayad n’yan Saudi government. Ang covered insurance, kung sakali na bankrupt yung kompanya, sagot ng insurance ‘yung unpaid salaries,” the DMW chief said.

She disclosed that the agreement also included a pre-termination clause that would specifically allow a domestic worker to transfer to or change employers before the end of the contract based on specific grounds, such as the non-payment of salary and cases of abuse/maltreatment.

“Yung insurance ang magpapalit ng deployment costs sa ahensya at employment. So hindi na mangyayari yung kailangan ma-hostage yung OFW hanggat hindi naibabalik yung nagastos nila,” Ople said.

On the issue of illegal recruitment syndicates, the DMW chief said they have set guidelines for blacklisted and whitelisted recruitment agencies, foreign recruitment agencies, and KSA employers of those who can legally participate in the resumption of deployment of OFWs in Saudi Arabia.

“Ngayon yung mga agency dapat nasa whitelist ng parehong bansa, bago mapagpadala ng Filipino worker,” Ople said.

She also revealed that the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) now considers passport confiscation as a human trafficking indicator. (ai/mtvn)

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