By Sandra Cabangon

Amid records of abuses by Saudi Arabian employers to Filipino workers, Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople is set to visit Saudi Arabia to assess the viability of lifting the deployment ban.

Photo Courtesy of Fayez Nureldine (AFP)/DMW

“Sa mga susunod na buwan ay magtutungo si Secretary Susan Ople sa Saudi Arabia upang tiyakin na may sapat na pwersang masisiguro na mabubuksan muli ang empleyo sa bansa, at para maisulong ang ating kampanya laban sa human trafficking," said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

In his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos presented that the government plans to discuss with Riyadh issues concerning the salary and welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) residing there to ensure they are treated properly in the country before lifting the deployment ban.

“Muli nating patitibayin ang respeto at pagkakaibigan ng ating dalawang bansa,” he stated.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) ordered the temporary suspension of the verification of employment contracts and deployment of OFWs in November 2021 due to complaints of unpaid wages with construction agencies and abuse.

As of May, around 20,000 OFWs with secured employments in Saudi Arabia are stranded in the Philippines because of the imposed deployment ban.

Edited by Annika Gorgeana Maningo