MANILA, Philippines – Twenty overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) deployed as truck drivers in Dammam, Saudi Arabia have criticized their employer, citing violations of the terms and conditions of their contracts, a nongovernment organization said.
In a press statement, Migrante-Eastern Region case officer Kenneth David said the OFWs have a strong case against their Saudi employer and their recruitment agency in the Philippines.
The 20 OFWs were deployed by the Kougen International Promotions Agency.
“We have been told by the complaining OFWs that there were several labor rights violations committed by their employer,” said David.
The violations include illegal substitution of contract, non-payment or delayed payment of salaries for 2-3 months, no insurance, no vacation pay, and verbal abuse, among others.
Migrante-Eastern Region has sent a letter to labor attaché David Des Dicang of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), asking him to provide assistance and guidance to the distressed OFWs in filing an official case in the Saudi labor court.
In his letter to Dicang, David identified the OFWs as: Yurie Murillo, Alex M. Aguto, Jimboy G. Torres, Misael Cagubcu, Danilo J. Ferrer, Gerry E. Reglos, Juanito Laguitan, Alex Sunga, Rodello Tapuic, Julius P. Tormis, Marlon L. Tamayao, Eric O. Taroy, Elizalde A. Catubig, Freddie F. Biluan, Reynato Z. Tulagan, Erwin Domingo Espiritu, Clemente Calma, Richard Catulong, Anecito Adanza Jr., and Jimson B. Faburada.
According to John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, contract substitution is an illegal recruitment activity that is punishable by law.
“Employers continuously exploit our OFWs by disregarding the original contract provisions, terms and conditions,” said Monterona.
He called on the Department of Labor and Employment and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to step into the case.