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DMW delegation to visit Saudi Arabia next week

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
DMW delegation to visit Saudi Arabia next week
Muslim pilgrims wear masks at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca on Feb. 28, 2020.
AFP / Abdel Ghani Bashir

MANILA, Philippines — A delegation from the Department of Migrant Workers (DWM) will leave for Saudi Arabia on Dec. 6 to discuss the wage claims of 10,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who lost their jobs years ago.

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople said yesterday she will meet with her counterpart, Minister of Human Resource and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rahji, to discuss Saudi Arabia’s offer.

“That will be the focus of my visit, and also to touch base with our stakeholders,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English at a news forum at the Dapo Restaurant and Bar in Quezon City.

Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman has offered a compensation package of two billion riyals for the unpaid salaries of 10,000 OFWs during a bilateral meeting with President Marcos on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Bangkok last month.

Ople said these were the unpaid claims of OFWs who worked for construction firms in Saudi Arabia that went bankrupt in 2015 and 2016.

The department chief said they are expected to discuss details about the offer from the Saudi Arabian government such as the timetable for the distribution of the funds.

The visit of the DWM delegation led by Ople will last until Dec. 10. During the visit, they will also meet with OFWs living in shelters in Riyadh, Al Khobar and Jeddah.

Ople said they intend to stay at a shelter for one night to see for themselves the plight of OFWs.

“We want to experience the 24-hour cycle of an OFW living in these shelters,” she said.

The Philippine delegation will also meet with foreign recruitment agencies during their visit.

DMW

SAUDI ARABIA

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