News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
16 October 2018

Lock-out aftermath
DOLE to repatriate 1,470 OFWs in Al Khobar

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III flew yesterday for Al Khobar with Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac and officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and Department of Health (DOH) on a mission to assist some 1,470 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by the lock-out by their employer, Azmeel Contracting Corporation.

Based on a report received by OWWA, Bello said Azmeel Contracting excluded its employees from their place of work after its assets were frozen by the Saudi government. The report also said that prior to the lockout, the employer failed to pay the workers’ four months salaries, which prompted workers to stage a protest.

Early on, Bello said that at least $50,000 was already sent as financial assistance to the affected OFWs.

Bello added that he will be meeting with the officials of the Ministry of Labor of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to discuss the repatriation of our OFWs and the payment of their back wages.

“I will talk with the Minister of Labor of Saudi Arabia on the repatriation of our OFWs and the request for the Saudi government’s assistance to look for jobs elsewhere, as well as legal assistance to collect their monetary claims from their employer,” Bello said.

Bello expressed confidence that that the Ministry of Labor will allow OFWs who wish to continue working in KSA, to transfer to other companies, since according to the report, our kababayans did not participate in the protest rally initiated by workers who are nationals of other countries.

For those who would wish to be repatriated, Bello said that prior to their return, a team composed of OWWA and DSWD will extend counseling and debriefing to the distressed OFWs, while members from DOH will help in providing relief and medical assistance.

“I am hoping that those who will be repatriated will be able to join their families this coming holiday season. OWWA, the Bureau of Local Employment and the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns will provide livelihood assistance for them upon their return,” Bello added.



Dahil sa lock-out

1,470 OFW sa Al Khobar, pauuwiin ng DOLE

Lumipad kahapon si Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III sa Al Khobar kasama si Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac at mga opisyal ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), at Department of Health (DOH) para tulungan ang may 1,470 overseas Filipino worker (OFW) na nawalan ng trabaho matapos mag-lock out ang kanilang employer, Azmeel Contracting Corporation.

Batay sa ulat na natanggap ng OWWA, sinabi ni Bello na hindi isinama ng Azmeel Contracting ang kanilang mga empleyado sa kanilang lugar na pinagtatrabahuhan matapos iutos ng pamahalaang Saudi na hindi nila maaaring galawin ang kanilang ari-arian. Nakasaad din sa ulat na bago mangyari ang lockout, hindi rin binayaran ng employer ang apat na buwang suweldo ng mga manggagawa, na siyang naging dahilan para mag-protesta ang mga ito.

Nauna rito, sinabi ni Bello na nagpadala na ng $50,000 tulong-pinansiyal sa mga apektadong OFW.

Idinagdag ni Bello na makikipagpulong siya sa mga opisyal ng Ministry of Labor ng Kingdom of Saudi Arabia upang talakayin ang pagpapauwi sa mga OFW at ang pagbabayad ng kanilang back wages.

“Makikipag-usap ako sa Minister of Labor ng Saudi Arabia para sa pagpapauwi ng ating mga OFW at hilingin ang tulong ng pamahalaan ng Saudi para sa paghahanap ng trabaho sa ibang lugar, gayundin ang tulong-legal para sa mga monetary claims ng mga manggagawa mula sa kanilang employer,” ani Bello.

Nagpahayag ng tiwala si Bello na papayagan ng Ministry of Labor na lumipat sa ibang kompanya ang mga OFW na nagnanais ipagpatuloy ang kanilang pagtatrabaho sa KSA, dahil ayon sa ulat, hindi sumali ang ating mga kababayan sa protesta na pinangunahan ng mga manggagawa mula sa ibang bansa.

Sa mga nagnanais na umuwi, sinabi ni Bello na bago sila makabalik, sasailalim muna sila sa counselling at debriefing mula sa grupo na binubuo ng OWWA at DSWD, samantalang magbibigay naman ng tulong-medikal ang ang mga miyembro mula sa DOH.

“Umaasa ako na iyong mga uuwi ay muling makakasama ang kanilang mga pamilya ngayong darating na Kapaskuhan. Sa kanilang pagbabalik, bibigyan sila ng ng tulong-pangkabuhayan mula sa OWWA, Bureau of Local Employment at ang Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns,” dagdag ni Bello.


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