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Saudi OFWs to receive back wages

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
Saudi OFWs to receive back wages
The Department of Labor and Employment yesterday reported that Saudi Arabia has agreed to pay the P4.6 billion in unpaid salaries of those OFWs.
STAR / Edd Gumban, file

MANILA, Philippines — It’s going to be a merry Christmas for 9,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have long been waiting to receive their unpaid salaries.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday reported that Saudi Arabia has agreed to pay the P4.6 billion in unpaid salaries of those OFWs.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said the payment is expected to be given to the workers when Saudi Labor Minister Ahmed al-Rajhi visits the country in December.

“So the unpaid salaries of our OFWs can be settled just in time for Christmas,” Bello announced in a statement.

Bello and the Saudi labor ministers met last week before attending the Abu Dhabi Dialog, a forum for talks and cooperation between Asian countries of labor origin and destination.

During a private meeting, Bello said, Al-Rahji appealed for the lifting of suspension on Arab mega recruitment agencies, which were responsible for the deployment of OFWs whose salaries and benefits remained unpaid.

He assured Al-Rahji that the Philippines would lift the deployment ban in exchange for the payment of salaries of these OFWs who were repatriated in 2016 after winning a case over their unsettled pay in Saudi.

However, since that time, the OFWs have yet to receive payment.

President Duterte sent Bello to Saudi in 2016 to help the beleaguered OFWs.

“Now, our migrant workers can have a merry Christmas,” Bello said.

The DOLE previously threatened to suspend the deployment of OFWs to Saudi until the 9,000 OFWs are able to receive their unpaid salaries.

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