The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday said it is ready to assist the 90,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be affected by the Saudi country’s “Saudization” labor policy.
DOLE Labor Communications Office director Nicon Fameronag said the DOLE is preparing for the possible repatriation of low-skilled OFWs from Saudi Arabia.
“Kung sakali na maraming mga Pilipino sa low-skilled at semi-skilled category ang maapektuhan ay pinaghahandaan natin ang kanilang pagbabalik dito at mayroon na na tayong nakalaang programa sa ilalim n gating reintegration program,” he said in an interview on GMA News TV’s “Balitanghali.”
He added that aside from the expected decrease in overseas deployment and foreign remittances, the Kingdom’s Nitaqat labor policy will not have any huge impact on the country.
“Batay sa ating karanasan, dahil ito namang Saudization na ito ay hindi bago kundi matagal na itong on and off na iniimplement ng Saudi Arabia. Sa mga nakakaraang tao na iniimplement na ito ng Saudi, wala naman masyadong epekto sa atin,” he said.
Fameronag likewise said that the labor policy will not affect the ties between the Philippines and the Middle Eastern country.
“Hindi natin minamasama ito sapagkat karapatan nila na bigyan nila ng trabaho ang kanilang mga Saudi nationals katulad din ng paghahangad din natin dito na mabigyan ng trabaho ang mga Pilipino,” he said.
Under the Nitaqat, the Saudi Ministry of Labor will classify 300,000 Saudi companies into four categories:
# excellent and green (complying companies)
# yellow and red (non-complying companies)
Each category will be required to employ a minimum number of Saudi citizens based on company size and the occupations of the company’s workers.
The DOLE earlier said the deadline for the completion of the classification of Saudi companies is on August 30. – VVP, GMA News