Lawmakers welcome back wages for displaced OFWs in Saudi Arabia

Lawmakers welcome back wages for displaced OFWs in Saudi Arabia
Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) officer-in-charge Hans Cacdac recently reported that the Saudi government has released the payment for the first batch of displaced workers.
STAR / Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s efforts to ensure displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) receive their back pay from bankrupted Saudi Arabian construction companies have been lauded by lawmakers from both the upper and lower chambers.

Sen. Raffy Tulfo credited Malacañang after its announcement of the processing of a total of 1,104 indemnity checks from Alinma Bank — amounting to P868,740,544 — through the Overseas Filipino Bank and Land Bank. About 843 checks have reportedly already been sorted out and distributed.

In a statement, Tulfo acknowledged the dedication of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to prioritize the welfare of Filipino modern-day heroes — the OFWs — as well as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for fulfilling his promise.

For his part, Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo, chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, echoed Tulfo’s sentiments.

Salo cited the steps taken by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) under the leadership of officer-in-charge Undersecretary Hans Cacdac to successfully release the unpaid salaries and benefits of OFWs who were retrenched in Saudi Arabia in 2015.

OFW Party-list Rep. Marissa Magsino also credited Malacañang for taking a firm stance on securing the overseas workers’ back pay, a manifestation that welfare of OFWs continue to be a top priority of the government.

In 2015 and 2016, about 10,544 OFWs were terminated from their jobs in Saudi Arabia due to bankruptcies of Saudi construction firms.

“Bilang Chairperson ng Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, lubos ang aking kasiyahan dahil matapos ang halos siyam na taon na paghihintay ng ating mga Saudi OFW ay makukuha na nila ang kanilang insurance claims,” said Tulfo.

“Ito ay bilang pagtupad sa pangako ni Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman na babayaran ng kanilang gobyerno ang ating mga OFW,” he added. 

“The DMW has worked their fingers to the bone to achieve this milestone. I wish to commend and thank OIC USec. Cacdac, as well as the late DMW Secretary Ople, for their dedication in resolving the labor claims of OFWs in Saudi Arabia through numerous bilateral talks and going through the meticulous process of collating every detail to ensure the rightful claim of each OFW,” Salo said.

“Sa paninindigan at katapatan ng ating Pangulong Marcos, tayo’y panatag na pagsusumikapan ng ating pamahalaan na maging good news na ang pagbigay ng claims para sa lahat ng naapektuhang OFWs sa lalong madalhing panahon,” said Magsino.

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