News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
March 27, 2022

POLO on wheels in Al Khobar

The labor department has launched mobile service to address the growing needs of migrant Filipino workers in Al Khobar and other areas in the Eastern Region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Labor Attaché Hector Cruz, Jr. of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Al Khobar on Friday said authorities had allowed the operation of POLO-on-wheels to provide consular, welfare and documentary needs of OFWs in the region.

Aside from mobile services, Cruz said the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs also authorized the POLO to maintain a hotel-like shelter in the outskirt of the city to house distressed OFWs and those awaiting repatriation.

DOLE has regular POLO offices only in Riyadh and Jeddah.

“We are proud to report that we have been allowed by the ministry to have our POLO on wheels and accept public services three times a week. This is great news because for our workers, instead of travelling for about 430 kilometers to our POLO in Riyadh, we can already attend to their needs anywhere in the eastern region,” Cruz said.

He said the POLO on wheels is pursuant to the directive of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to ensure that services are available to OFWs for their protection and welfare.

“While we have been allowed to operate our POLO on wheels, the government have also set some guidelines which we will strictly follow, such as we cannot operate on commercial districts,” he said.

Cruz said the mobile POLO will be rolled out this week, with various services to be provided on ground for OFWs such as consular services, transfer of employment, repatriation, and assistance for those who have problems/issues with their jobs or with their employers.

Aside from the POLO on wheels, Cruz said they have also been allowed by the Arab government to operate and manage a hotel type shelter for those distressed Pinoy workers or for those who were waiting for their flight back to the Philippines.

POLO records show there are about 220,000 to 230,000 Filipinos in the Eastern region of KSA, with around 215,000 documented OFWs, their dependents and some permanent migrants.

OFWs in the KSA eastern region are mostly in the industry of oil exploration and drilling, while some are in the service-oriented sectors such as on cafés, restaurants, and in the maintenance services sector.

“We will now be doing our outreach program on a regular basis through our POLO on wheels project. Our staff will now be the one to come to serve you and provide the services that our kababayans need,” Cruz said. ###

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POLO on wheels sa Al Khobar

Inilunsad ng labor department ang mobile service upang tugunan ang lumalaking pangangailangan ng mga migranteng manggagawang Filipino sa Al Khobar at iba pang lugar sa Eastern Region ng Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Sinabi ni Labor Attaché Hector Cruz, Jr. ng Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)–Al Khobar nitong Biyernes na pinahintulutan ng mga awtoridad ang operasyon ng POLO-on-wheels upang tugunan ang pangangailangang consular, welfare at documentary ng mga OFW sa rehiyon.

Bukod sa mobile service, sinabi ni Cruz na pinahintulutan din ng Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs ang POLO na maglagay ng lugar na matutuluyan ng mga distressed OFW at mga naghihintay ng repatriation.

Ang DOLE ay may regular na tanggapan lamang ng POLO sa Riyadh at Jeddah.

“Ikinagagalak naming iulat na kami ay pinahintulutan ng kagawaran na magkaroon ng POLO on wheels at magbigay ng serbisyo publiko tatlong beses sa isang linggo. Ito ay magandang balita para sa ating mga manggagawa na sa halip na bumiyahe sila ng 430 kilometro sa ating POLO-Riyadh, maaari na nating tugunan ang kanilang pangangailangan saan man sa silangang rehiyon,” wika ni Cruz.

Aniya, ang POLO on wheels ay alinsunod sa direktiba ni Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III na tiyaking mabibigyan ng serbisyo ang mga OFW para sa kanilang proteksiyon at kapakanan.

“Bagama’t pinahintulutan kaming mag-operate ng POLO on wheels, kinakailangan naman naming sundin ang itinakdang patakaran ng kanilang pamahalaan, tulad ng hindi kami maaaring mag-operate sa mga commercial district,” aniya.

Ayon pa kay  Cruz, ilulunsad ngayong linggo ang mobile POLO, kung saan iba’t-ibang serbisyo ang ibibigay sa mga OFW tulad ng consular services, paglipat ng trabaho, repatriation, at tulong para sa mga may problema/isyu sa kanilang trabaho o sa kanilang mga amo.

Bukod sa POLO on wheels, sinabi ni Cruz na pinayagan din sila ng pamahalaang Arabo na makapag-operate at mamahala ng isang hotel-type na bahay-kalinga para sa mga distressed Pinoy workers, gayun din  para sa mga naghihintay ng kanilang flight pabalik ng Pilipinas.

Batay sa record ng POLO, may humigit-kumulang 220,000 hanggang 230,000 Filipino sa silangang rehiyon ng KSA, na may 215,000 na dokumentadong OFW kabilang ang kanilang mga dependent, at ilang permanenteng migrante.

Kadalasang nasa industriya ng oil exploration at drilling ang mga OFW sa silangang rehiyon ng KSA, habang ang ilan naman ay nasa sektor na nakatuon sa serbisyo tulad ng sa mga café, restaurant, gayun din sa maintenance service sector.

“Regular na naming gagawin ang aming outreach program sa pamamagitan ng aming proyektong POLO on wheels. Ang ating mga tauhan na ngayon ang lalapit upang paglingkuran kayo at ibigay ang mga serbisyong kailangan ng ating mga kababayan,” ani Cruz. ###

 

 

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