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PH Resumes Sending OFWs to Saudi

by Cecilia Villarosa

THE deployment of newly-hired Filipino workers to Saudi Arabia has resumed,  today, November 7. 

The Philippine government has lifted the suspension of deployment of FIlipino migrant workers to the Middle East country, as announced by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Friday. 

In November 2021, the government imposed deployment ban to Saudi Arabia amid the allegations of abuse, maltreatment and unpaid salary of Filipino workers. 

The resumption of the deployment was a result of agreements signed between the two countries that would bolster the protection of the Filipino workers. 

Among the labor reform measures adopted by the two countries were:

• A new Saudi-specific employment contract with insurance coverage for domestic workers and skilled workers covering unpaid salaries, airfare, refund of recruitment costs in case of unfinished contracts and other contingencies. The Saudi government will shoulder the insurance cost for skilled workers while Saudi employers are mandated to pay for the insurance coverage of Filipino domestic workers.

• A pre-termination clause in the contract that would specifically allow a domestic worker to transfer to or change employers before the end of the contract based on certain grounds such as the non-payment of salary and cases of abuse/maltreatment. 

• The adoption of a joint alternative dispute settlement mechanism that would pave the way for a more transparent, fair, and amicable settlement of employment disputes.

• Integration of the contract, and implementation of the Wage Protection Program, which will regulate and ensure the timely payment of wages to all OFWs; and,

• Direct referral of cases involving the trafficking and exploitation of OFWs to the MHRSD through its anti-human trafficking department. 

A delegration from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development is expected to arrive this week to discuss OFW salaries and recruitment processes automation. 

Photo credit: OWWA



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