Manila has barred Filipino workers from going to Saudi Arabia for employment after the Middle Eastern country allegedly asked migrant workers to bear the cost of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, officials said.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III wrote to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) administrator Bernard Olalia instructing him to impose the labor freeze immediately.
“[Y]ou are hereby instructed to effect the temporary suspension of deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia effective immediately and until further notice,” Bello said in his memorandum dated Thursday, but released to the media on Friday.
Bello said he had “received reports that departing OFWs are being required by their employers or foreign recruitment agencies to shoulder the costs of the health and safety protocols for COVID-19 and insurance coverage premium upon their entry into the Kingdom.”
OFWs refers to overseas Filipino workers.
Full story: BenarNews
Luis Liwanag and Jeoffrey Maitem
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