OFW deployment ban to Saudi Arabia lifted by DOLE

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Due to the government’s lifting of the suspension of deployment to Saudi Arabia over COVID-19 protocol issues, 403 workers stranded on Friday can now board their flights.

The go signal was given after the Department of Labor and Employment received communication from the government of Saudi Arabia which stated that employers and agencies agreed to shoulder the cost of “institutional quarantine and other COVID-19 protocols” upon arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello.

“I have advised the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to immediately implement this directive and provide the necessary clearance to all our departing Filipino workers to facilitate their travel to the KSA,” he said.

On Friday, the Philippine government put on hold the sending of workers over the supposed refusal of foreign employers and agencies to pay for worker expenses for health and safety protocols, as well as insurance.

Philippine Airlines excluded over 400 OFWs from boarding flights from Manila to Riyadh and Dammam on Friday, although the flag carrier said it did not receive prior information about the decision.

Home and food assistance were provided by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to the stranded workers.