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 The Philippines and Saudi Arabia has agreed to resume the deployment of overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) on November 7 following the lifting of the deployment ban. 

The decision came after the bilateral discussions between the two agencies led by Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople and Minster for human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) Minister Ahmad Bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi.

"We are grateful to Minister Al-Rajhi and the government of Saudi Arabia for sharing our concern for the rights of our workers. Likewise, we intend to move forward by working together on implementing mechanisms that would ensure the protection of our workers’ rights and welfare," Secretary Susan Ople said in a statement.

Ople, who has been in Saudi Arabia since Thursday last week said, "based on our agreement with Minister Ahmed Al Rajhi, we will resume deploying Filipino migrant workers to Saudi Arabia beginning November 7."

According to Ople, the two countries have agreed to launch the following measures for the protection of the OFWs.

  • Create a Technical Working Group with representatives from both parties to monitor the labor reform implementation and to work together when resolving concerns of workers

  • Create blacklist and whitelist of recruitment agencies and employers in both countries

  • Revise the Standard Employment Contract of OFWs, which should be updated with the Saudi Labor Reform Initiatives. This means that insurance for unpaid wages should also be included in contract clauses, as well as providing the “timely release” of wages via electronic means, and a pre-termination clause.

  • Implement a “fully-automated” recruitment process

  • Sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on combatting trafficking of persons, investigating and prosecuting offenders, and providing support for trafficking victims in the Philippines and in Saudi Arabia

  • Regularly convene for Joint Committee Meetings “to ensure full compliance” with bilateral agreements and “explore developments of recruitment procedures in both countries”

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