The Department of Labor and Employment has ordered the temporary suspension of deployment of newly hired household service workers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Speaking to TeleRadyo, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III cited the need to review policies in the deployment of newly hired domestic workers following reports of abuse committed by a retired general in Saudi.
"They are using the weak contract of employment to fool our [overseas Filipino workers]. This one general...he had 8 workers when he was not an employer. He made up fake employers, fake addresses and he got 8 OFWs. These workers were molested, abused and not paid," he said.
The labor chief said the temporary suspension does not cover domestic workers with existing contracts.
He noted the Philippines is still pushing Saudi Arabian employers to settle unpaid salaries and end-of-services pay of more than 9,000 Filipino workers.
The DOLE in late May ordered a deployment ban to Saudi Arabia after it received reports that OFWs were required by their employers or foreign recruitment agencies to shoulder the cost of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
It lifted the ban days later after the Saudi government mandated foreign employers to shoulder the costs of COVID-19 health protocols of OFWs upon arrival.