MANILA—The government assured a group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were repatriated from Saudi Arabia of assistance in claiming unpaid wages and benefits from their employers.
The assurance was given by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod after meeting with a number of Filipinos formerly employed at Mohammad Al-Mojil Group (MMG) in the said country.
With this, the DOLE official noted that they have to assess the concerns of the workers, particularly their unpaid wages and benefits from their employers in the Middle East.
The MMG workers were repatriated in August last year.
They have not received their wages despite cases have been filed by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Al Khobar against the company.
On the other hand, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said they were doing the best they could to assess the situation and coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which handles the case of the MMG workers.
“We are in close coordination with DFA. They have hired lawyers, which will prioritize and personally handle the case for immediate resolution. However, they cannot give us an exact date on when the disbursement of the unpaid wages will be because the process of auction and liquidation of MMG assets are still on-going in the Middle East,” he explained.
Earlier, the DOLE and the Saudi Ministry of Labor signed an agreement which would hasten the repatriation of OFWs as well as the processing of their wages and benefits claims before the Saudi court.
“OWWA is also balancing the situation. We have been assured that our counterpart in Saudi will act immediately on our claims. We signed the agreement before President Rodrigo Duterte and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi,” the OWWA official added.