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Villanueva urges gov’t to sustain efforts in paying displaced ex-Saudi OFWs

File photo of Senator Joel Villanueva

Senator Joel Villanueva urges the government to sustain efforts in making sure that displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia will be paid.

The statement comes after President Bongbong Marcos revealed that over 1,000 former OFWs have started to receive their payments from the Saudi government.

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) expects the numbers to reach 1,500 when it comes to the number of recipients.

“This is a welcome development, but we need to ensure that all of our displaced Saudi OFWs are paid 100 percent of their back wages,” said Villanueva.

There are a total of 10,554 OFWs who were able to submit their Iqamas or Saudi residence permits for foreign hires and were verified by the DMW.

President Marcos said in his vlog that the Overseas Filipino Bank (OF Bank) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) are aiding claimants. Both banks facilitated the opening of accounts, enabling claimants to deposit their checks and seamlessly access their cash payouts.

Cacdac further disclosed that the remaining 300 checks from the initial batch are anticipated to clear in the coming weeks.

However, Cacdac acknowledged the need to address certain challenges, such as facilitating the distribution of checks to heirs of deceased claimants and resolving discrepancies in claimant details.

The DMW assured that aid will be provided by the Landbank and Overseas Filipinos Bank to immediately address these issues.

“We remain committed to collaborating with our Saudi counterparts to resolve these outstanding matters. Our priority is to support our OFWs and their families throughout this final stage, ensuring they receive their long-overdue wages and benefits,” affirmed Cacdac.

Staff Report

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