Stranded OFWs in Saudi to be given new jobs – DOLE

  • Jobs will be given by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to stranded OFWs, says labor secretary Silvestre Bello III
  • They will also be provided legal assistance to file their claims from previous employers
  • More than 11,000 OFWs in Saudi were jobless after their companies retrenched operations due to bankruptcy

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced that King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabi has ordered its Ministry of Labor (MOL) to facilitate the new employment needed by thousands of stranded Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

“We were also informed that the Ministry of Labor will allow the transfer of workers to other companies should they wish to continue working in KSA. The workers may look for new employers, and the good thing is the Ministry of Labor will mobilize the Mega Manpower Companies to offer jobs to workers,” Manila Bulletin quoted DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III in a news article.

Aside from the provision of new jobs, Bello said the King has also directed its labor ministry to provide legal assistance for migrant Filipino workers to file their claims from their previous employers.

“The Saudi Labor Officers will officially receive cases at the camps instead of requiring thousands of workers to file the case at the Saudi Labor Office building,” said the labor secretary.

More than 11,000 OFWs are currently in crisis in Saudi Arabia for months after the companies they work for retrenched manpower due to bankruptcy.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has facilitated the assistance to these OFWs. OWWA said on Tuesday that there have been 1,495 overseas workers who were repatriated and given P20,000 cash assistance.

Rappler said in a story that OWWA admitted it is having difficulty reaching out to these OFWs due to the lack of a complete database of the stranded workers and few manpower in the area. The OFWs are situated in three major cities in Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia – Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam/Al-Khobar.

Meanwhile, the government will be sending an inter-agency delegation headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to Saudi for one month in order to facilitate the stranded workers. Together with DOLE, Department of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development, the mission composed of 40 personnel will head to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, August 10.