Saturday, November 27, 2021

Labor official not in favor of Saudi deployment ban

PHILIPPINE Labor Attaché to Jeddah Roel Martin on Friday, October 15, 2021, said he was not in favor of the planned imposition of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) deployment ban to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

In a virtual press briefing, Martin admitted that he is not keen on the idea proposed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to impose a ban on deploying OFWs to KSA.

"This will definitely have a huge impact to both Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, and especially to our countrymen that need to work abroad," said Martin.

"We hope it will not reach that point... Hopefully, there will be a resolution and the deployment ban won't push through," he added.

The labor official said this is because the economy of Saudi Arabia is currently on an upward trend despite the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

"There are great opportunities now in Saudi Arabia and, hopefully, we can address their demands for skilled workers, nurses and professionals," said Martin.

Nevertheless, he stressed that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in Jeddah acknowledges the need to give justice to the violation of labor rights of OFWs.

"We do recognize that there are unpaid wages of OFWs as far as 2016. Many of them are from big construction companies. There is no reason for them not to pay," said Martin.

Earlier, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III threatened to impose a deployment ban if the latter remains unable to give the backpay of repatriated OFWs.

Bello said the about 9,000 OFWs are entitled to around P4.6 billion in backpay. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)


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