Saudi employers to be told to shoulder OFWs’ health fees; lifting of deployment suspension seen
MANILA, Philippines — The Saudi Arabian government government has agreed to order employers to shoulder the cost of the health and quarantine fees of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for the middle eastern nation.
This was according to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Bernard Olalia, who said that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the Philippines recently had a discussion on the matter.
“Pumayag na po, ayon po sa ambassador, ang KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) government na ilalagay nila sa isang clarification letter na ang KSA employers, foreign employers po ang sasagot sa lahat po ng health and quarantine protocols ng ating mga OFWs na papunta po sa Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Olalia said during the Laging Handa briefing on Saturday.
On Friday, Bello ordered a temporary suspension of deployment of OFWs to Saudi Arabia over the lack of “clear and expressed” guidelines that the employers will be the ones to shoulder the health and quarantine expenses of OFWs once they arrive there.
The suspension, Olalia said, may be lifted as early as Saturday afternoon or on Sunday.
“Ang amin pong tinitignan baka po bukas or mamayang hapon, today, lifted na po ‘yan at makakaalis na rin po sila (OFWs),” he said.
According to the POEA chief, over 400 OFWs were not allowed to leave for Saudi Arabia on Friday due to the suspension.
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