Thursday, August 05, 2021

DOLE chief lifts Saudi deployment ban

SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi passengers greet as they prepare to check in at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia on May 17, 2021. (AP)

LESS than 48 hours after preventing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from leaving for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued another memorandum lifting the suspension.

In his memorandum to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Bello said the KSA Embassy to the Philippines has assured that OFWs are not being required by their employers/foreign recruitment agencies to shoulder the costs of health and safety protocols upon arrival in the Arab country.

"After receipt of the official communication from the Saudi government this morning, which assures us that the foreign employers and agencies will shoulder the costs of institutional quarantine and other Covid-19 protocols upon arrival in the KSA, the temporary suspension of deployment to the Kingdom is hereby lifted," Bello said in a statement.

He said he has advised the POEA to immediately implement this directive and provide the necessary clearance to departing Filipino workers bound for Saudi.

He apologized to OFWs who had to postpone their departure when he ordered the suspension on May 27.

"I understand that the suspension order drew confusion and irritation among our affected departing OFWs," he said.

"I apologize for the inconvenience and momentary anguish that it may have caused our dear OFWs. It was to the best interest of our OFWs that such decision had to be made," he added. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)


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