Displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) now have the option of staying in the country after the government assured them that they can expect help in terms of seeking employment opportunities.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud himself has given instructions to the Saudi Ministry of Labor (MOL) to provide OFWs with new jobs, following the bankruptcy of several Saudi construction firms.
Silvestre Bello III, DOLE Secretary, said:
“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.”
Furthermore, King Salman also instructed the MOL to lend legal assistance for affected OFWs in case they need to file money 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,” shared Bello.
Bello has earlier reported that over 11,000 stranded OFWs are hesitant about returning to the country because they are still waiting for the money claims release or are still hoping that their employers will soon resume operations.
An inter-agency Assistance to Nationals (ATN) team led by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is scheduled to arrive in KSA soon to provide immediate assistance for them. The team will be composed of officials and personnel from the DFA, DOLE, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“We immensely express our gratitude to King Salman for his concern to our OFWs. This is a welcome development and, indeed, a big help in our ongoing efforts to secure the welfare of our OFWs,” Bello expressed.