The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has temporarily suspended the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
The development was confirmed by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Bernard Olalia to AdChoiceTV News on Friday.
In a memorandum issued on May 27, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III ordered the POEA to effect the temporary suspension of deployment of OFWs to the KSA “effective immediately and until further notice.”
“The Department received reports that departing OFWs are being required by their employers/foreign recruitment agencies to shoulder the costs of the health and safety protocol for COVID-19 and insurance coverage premium upon their entry in the Kingdom,” Bello said.
Thousands of returning OFW’s and Newly Hired were dismayed by the action of Secretary Bello without consulting proper organization to internally resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, OFW’s and Recruitment agencies were asking if Department of Labor and Employment will shoulder the rebooking of air ticket of stranded and affected ofw bound to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia including the non-refundable hotel accommodation to be use as the institutional quarantine upon arrival in KSA.
AdChoiceTV News sought comment from Department of Labor and Employment but they said they will wait for Secretary Bello to issue a formal statement.
The Labor chief said the DOLE will be issuing an official statement on the resumption of deployment in the KSA after the matter has been clarified accordingly.