DOLE eyes deployment ban to Saudi to compel payment of P4.6 billion to 9k OFWs

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A deployment ban to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is now being studied by the Department of Labor and Employment after the Saudi government failed to  facilitate the release of P4.6 billion worth of claims of thousands of displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).  

In a television interview last Thursday, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III ordered the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to look into the feasibility of the ban. 

Bello said his measure aims to compel the Saudi government to finally prioritize the settlement of the unpaid claims of over 9,000 displaced OFWS, which have been pending since 2016. 

“That was 2016, it is now 2021 –there is already a [court decision] on this but it remains unpaid,” Bello said.  

“If they fail to pay it, then there is no use sending overseas workers there,” he added.  

He noted the said claims from over 9,000 OFWs, who lost their jobs in 2016 are still pending. 

Bello said if the Saudi government fails to settle the claims, he will issue a memorandum to request to President Rodrigo R. Duterte to consider declaring the deployment ban in KSA.

“It’s high time we have to show the people of Saudi na our people deserve justice because they’ve been toiling for years just to get these claims of theirs,” Bello said.