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DOLE warns OFW deployment ban to Saudi due to PHP4.5-billion worth of unpaid salaries

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said that a deployment ban on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for Saudi Arabia may be imposed if the employers in Saudi will fail to pay the wages of some 10,000 OFWs. 

In a virtual briefing, Bello said that the amount of unpaid salaries reached P4.5 billion.

Bello said that the unpaid claims have been pending for more than four years despite the ruling of a Saudi court favoring the OFWs. 

The labor chief said he will bring the matter up during his ministerial meeting in the United Arab Emirates from October 25 to 27. 

“I already informed the President that I will discuss it with my counterpart. I will make it clear to him that if it is not settled, I will consider recommending to the President another deployment ban to Saudi Arabia,” he said.

“We will not give them any more grace period. We will give them the impression that the settlement is now and not later. It’s already been more than four years. Our workers have already suffered a lot,” Bello added. 

He lamented that amid the decisions of the court not a single cent has been given to Filipino workers. 

“That is why I am really determined to tell the President that if they would not give in to our request, I will recommend a deployment in the KSA,” Bello stressed.

Staff Report

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