DMW working group to sort out release of Saudi OFWs' backpay

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 22 2022 03:39 PM

 Overseas Filipino Workers queue at the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 as they process their travel documents for their overseas trip on May 31, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File 
Overseas Filipino Workers queue at the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 as they process their travel documents for their overseas trip on May 31, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File 

MANILA — The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Tuesday said it would form a technical working group to sort out the release of backpay for some 10,000 overseas Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia. 

The Saudi government recently agreed to pay the wages of OFWs who have yet to receive their salaries from bankrupt Saudi-based employers since 2015. 

The technical working group will clarify who the beneficiaries are and how much they would receive, said DMW Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac. 

Previous briefings revealed that some of the OFWs died before they could get their backpay. 

"Malinaw na kasama sila, ipaglalaban natin na sila ay makasama sa listahan sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay," Cacdac said in a public briefing. 

(It's clear that they should be included, we will fight to have them in the list through their loved ones.)

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BEWARE OF FIXERS

The official urged potential beneficiaries to stay away from middlemen or "fixers" claiming to have connections with the Saudi government or Filipino officials. 

Updates on the payout will only come from the DMW and additional details on the labor claims will be released soon, he said. 

"Sa matagal nang paghihintay ay alam na rin ng mga workers kung sino iyong may dalang fake o mapanlinlang na impormasyon kaya’t huwag pong pumatol sa mga ganitong klaseng tao," Cacdac said. 

"Sa halip, asahan na lang po ang karampatang anunsiyo na ihahayag po ng Department of Migrant Workers tungkol sa proseso." 

(Due to their long wait, workers know who carry fake or duplicitous information, so do not entertain these people. Instead, let us rely on announcements that the Department of Migrant Workers will release about the process.)

DMW Secretary Susan Ople earlier said Saudi "set aside 2 billion Riyals to help our displaced workers."

The funds will cover workers from Saudi OGer, MMG, the Bin Laden group, and other construction companies that declared bankruptcy in 2015 and in 2016, the agency said.