Bello assures aid to displaced KSA workers

Date Posted: October 24th, 2018 04:28 AM

News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
24 October 2018

 

Bello assures aid to displaced KSA workers


The government will provide assistance to distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who were displaced by the lock-out of Azmeel Contracting Corporation, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

 

Bello arrived last week from Dammam with the first batch of repatriated OFWs, namely Catalino Palasigue, Victor Villanueva, Christopher Bulaong, Michael De Guzman, Jorge Dela Cruz, Jayson Vasallo, and Reynaldo Ramos.

 

The succeeding batches of OFWs are set to arrive weekly until December.   

 

“When I asked the displaced OFWs, almost 100 percent wanted to be repatriated to the Philippines. We understand that they are lonely and they miss their families. Since the holiday season is almost here, we want to bring back the OFWs to their loved ones. To fast-track their repatriation, we will shoulder first the travel expenses and Azmeel will just pay us,” Bello said in a press briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 

 

He said that Azmeel promised to give the unpaid salaries of the OFWs and also provide for their fare back, adding that the agreement between the company and the Philippine government was witnessed by KSA’s Ministry of Labor.

 

Michael De Guzman, who served as the leader of the OFWs, said that aside from unpaid salaries, they were not issued an Iqama (residence permits) and that they were given a different contract by their company.

 

Nonetheless, he expressed his gratitude to the Philippine government for extending the necessary assistance to them and expressed hope that their co-workers who were left behind will be repatriated in the coming weeks.

 

The first batch of OFWs were already paid their salaries and provided financial assistance amounting to P20,000.

 

To facilitate their reintegration, the workers will be assisted in finding alternative employment or engaging in their chosen livelihood undertaking.

 

As the displaced employees used to work in construction, Bello said that he will coordinate with Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as numerous projects under the Build, Build, Build program are in need of construction workers.

 

END/aldm

 

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Bello tiniyak tulong sa mga manggagawang nawalan ng trabaho sa KSA

 

Bibigyan ng tulong ng pamahalaan ang mga overseas Filipino worker (OFW) mula sa Kingdom of Saudi Arabia na nawalan ng trabaho matapos mag-lock-out ang Azmeel Contracting Corporation.

 

Ito ang pagtitiyak ni Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III na bumalik sa bansa noong isang araw mula sa Dammam kasama ang unang grupo ng mga umuwing OFW, na sina Catalino Palasigue, Victor Villanueva, Christopher Bulaong, Michael De Guzman, Jorge Dela Cruz, Jayson Vasallo, at Reynaldo Ramos.

 

Nakatakdang umuwi ang mga susunod na grupo ng OFW sa darating na mga linggo hanggang Disyembre.

 

“Nang tanungin ko ang mga OFW na nawalan ng trabaho, halos 100 porsiyento ang nagnanais na makauwi ng Pilipinas.  Naiintindihan namin na sila ay nalulungkot at nais makasama ang kanilang pamilya.  Dahil sa papalapit na ang kapaskuhan, nais naming ibalik ang mga OFW sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay.  Upang mapabilis ang kanilang pagbabalik, aabonohan muna namin ang kanilang pamasahe at babayaran na lamang kami ng Azmeel,” ani Bello sa ginanap na pulong-balitaan sa Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

 

Sinabi niya na nangako ang Azmeel na ibibigay ang hindi pa nababayarang sahod ng mga OFW, gayundin ang kanilang pamasahe pauwi, at kanyang idinagdag na ang kasunduan sa pagitan ng kompanya at ng pamahalaan ng Pilipinas ay sinaksihan ng Ministry of Labor ng KSA.

 

Sinabi ni Michael De Guzman, na nagsisilbing lider ng mga OFW, na maliban sa hindi nabayarang sahod, hindi rin sila binigyan ng Iqama (residence permit) at nakatanggap sila ng ibang kontrata sa kanilang kompanya.

 

Gayunpaman, nagpasalamat siya sa pamahalaan ng Pilipinas sa tulong na ibinigay sa kanila at nagpahiwatig na umaasa siya na mapapauwi din ang iba pa niyang kasamahan sa mga darating na araw.

 

Binayaran na ang suweldo ng unang grupo ng OFW at nakatanggap na rin sila ng tulong-pinansiyal na nagkakahalaga ng P20,000.

 

Para maging maayos ang kanilang pagbabalik, tutulungan ang mga manggagawa na makahanap ng alternatibong trabaho o makapagtayo ng kanilang mapipiling negosyo.

 

Dahil dating nagtatrabaho sa konstruksiyon ang mga manggagawang nawalan ng trabaho, sinabi ni Bello na makikipag-ugnayan sila kina Secretary Arthur Tugade ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) at Secretary Mark Villar ng Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) para sa iba’t ibang proyekto sa ilalim ng programang Build, Build, Build na nangangailangan ng mga construction worker. 

 

END/aldm/gmea

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