Bello to expedite OFWs’ back pay and endo benefits


Coming to the rescue of the ‘bagong bayani’, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has vowed to expedite the release of back pay and end-of-contract benefits owed to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) forced to return home from Saudi Arabia in 2016.


MANILA, Philippines — Bello said the Saudi Arabian government is expected to pay ₱4.6 billion in unpaid salaries to 9,000 OFWs.

In a statement, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it will create a technical working group whose members will include the Riyadh-based labor officer, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), as well as representatives from a Saudi Arabia OFW group “to determine all details relevant to the release of the full settlement.”

Bello also “ordered the inclusion of OFW representatives in the group that will meet with its counterpart from KSA (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) in order to hasten the processing of claims by some 9,000 OFWs.”

The DOLE statement further said that the Philippine and Saudi Arabian governments led by Bello and Saudi Labor Minister Ahmed al-Rajhi held talks in Dubai last week.

Citing OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, DoLE said all specifics, such as eligibility, distribution, and documentary requirements will be finalized through the technical working group and should be ready before the scheduled visit of the Saudi Arabian labor minister in December. (JD/JuanManila)

Featured image:  Saudi Labor Minister Ahmed al-Rajhi.

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