Saudi Arabia will still be a major destination for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
This is the conclusion of the bilateral meeting of Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz with Saudi Labor Minister H.E. Adel M. Fakeih during their separate talks at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in connection with the 100th International Labor Organization conference attended by labor officials around the world.
Baldoz said among the points discussed with Minister Fakeih were the salary of Filipino domestic workers in the Kingdom, the hiring of nurses, and the possible visit to the Philippines of the Saudi labor minister sometime this year. She also disclosed other Saudi reforms shared by Minister Fakeih such as the following:
1. Recognition of “intermediary hiring firms” who will serve as sponsors and co-employers of workers and who will be responsible for their welfare and protection
2. Mandatory, broad-range insurance intended to further protect workers and assure them of payment of money claims, with the premium to be paid for by employers
3. New scheme for assisting workers in their remittances to help address the major challenge of reducing remittance costs
4. Expansion of e-government facilities
5. Associated wage protection system
6. Better enforcement of existing regulations, including the establishment of 24/7 hotlines to receive workers’ complaints in various languages, including Tagalog.