Department of Labor and Employment
October 31, 2021
Bello: KSA to pay P4.6B unpaid salaries of OFWs in December
The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is expected to pay P4.6 billion in unpaid salaries to 9,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were forced to return to the Philippines after they stopped receiving remuneration.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III is optimistic the payment will be made when KSA Labor Minister Ahmed al-Rajhi visits the country in December this year.
“So the unpaid salaries of our OFWs can be settled just in time for Christmas,” the Labor chief said.
Bello was in KSA last week to attend the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, a forum for talks and cooperation between Asian Countries of labor origin and destination.
It aims to enable safe, orderly and regular labor migration in some of the world’s largest temporary labor migration corridors.
Before the dialogue however, Bello said he was invited by Al-Rajhi for a private meeting where the KSA labor executive appealed for the lifting of the suspension on Arab mega recruitment agencies which were responsible for the deployment of OFWs whose salaries and benefits remained unpaid.
Bello said he assured Al Rahji the Philippines would lift the deployment ban in exchange for the payment of salaries of the OFWs.
Repatriated by the government in 2016, the unpaid OFWs, through the help of state lawyers, won the case over their unsettled pay in KSA.
Despite the legal victory however, the KSA government refused to pay the OFWs.
“But our government is really thankful that the meeting with the KSA labor minister was fruitful,” Bello said.
President Duterte sent Bello to KSA in 2016 to help the beleaguered OFWs. “Now, our migrant workers can now have a merry Christmas,” he added. ###