The Philippines is currently negotiating with Saudi Arabia to reopen its doors for Filipino workers, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. bared.
Marcos said during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25, that Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople is set to visit Saudi Arabia to look into the chances of deploying Filipino workers in that country, as well as to advance the country’s campaign against human trafficking.
“Sa mga susunod na buwan ay magtutungo si Secretary Susan Ople sa Saudi Arabia upang tiyakin na may sapat na puwersang magsisiguro na mabubuksang muli ang empleyo sa bansa, at para maisulong ang ating kampanya laban sa human trafficking (In the coming months, Secretary Susan Ople will go to Saudi Arabia to ensure the reopening of the foreign country for employees and to push our campaign against human trafficking),” Marcos said during his 73-minute public address.
The President also committed that the Philippines, under his administration, will strengthen the respect and friendship of both countries “like the relations of my father and their king.”
Former Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III ordered the temporary deployment ban on Filipino workers bound for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in October last year, following the failure of Saudi employers to settle the unpaid wages and end of contract payments of some 10,000 overseas Filipino worker (OFWs) amounting to some P4.5 billion.
Bello was adamant that the claims had been lying idle for more than four years and remained unattended despite a final and executory ruling by a Saudi court favoring OFWs.
During his SONA, Marcos also announced the creation of One Repatriation Command Center (ORCC) to provide immediate assistance to overseas Filipinos in times of life-threatening situations, crisis, and abuse.
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