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Pinoys in Saudi warned vs fishing in Eritrea

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - May 23, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino fishermen working in Saudi Arabia were warned yesterday against crossing the Eritrean River as this may expose them to pirates and possible imprisonment.

Susan Ople, head of the Blas Ople Policy Center, said the overseas workers should resist temptation to illegally fish outside Saudi Arabia, especially in Eritrea, where piracy is a concern.

According to Ople, Pinoy fishermen in Saudi Arabia are paid based on how many fish they are able to bring back from Eritrea.        

Ople noted that nine fishermen illegally caught fishing in Eritrea have been deported by its government.

Four of them were caught by pirates and went missing in 2013.

Ople called on the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to look into the deployment of Filipino fishermen to Saudi Arabia and ensure that their rights are protected.

Dep’t of OFWs

Meanwhile, Ople expressed support for the creation of a separate department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to ensure immediate response to their needs.

Filipinos working in the Middle East also backed the plan of the incoming government.

John Leonard Monterona, United OFWs Worldwide convener, said the new department must ensure that billions of OFW funds being kept by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration would be spent for the welfare of these workers.

Monterona said if the OFW department would be created, it must also make sure that unnecessary fees and charges being collected from overseas workers would be stopped.

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