DOLE to assist 1,470 OFWs displaced in Al Khobar
About 1,470 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were displaced after their employer locked them out of their workplace in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, will be receiving assistance from the Philippine government, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Tuesday.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has reported to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that Azmeel Contracting Corporation excluded the workers from their place of work after their assets were frozen by the Saudi government.
Azmeel Contracting also failed to pay the workers their salaries for four months which led them to protest workers to protest, OWWA said.
On Monday, Bello with OWWA Chief Hans Leo Cacdac and officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Health (DOH) flew to Al Khobar to help the distressed OFWs.
Bello added that $50,000 in cash has already been offered to the OFWs as financial assistance.
To discuss the possible repatriation of the distressed OFWs, Bello said he will be meeting with the officials of the Saudi Ministry of Labor.
“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 in a statement.
OWWA and DSWD will also extend counseling and debriefing for the OFWs while DOH will offer relief and medical assistance, Bello said. /muf
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