Sat. Jan 29th, 2022

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Bernard Olalia on Tuesday said they will try to come up with the new guidelines for the deployment of new household service workers (HSWs) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) next month.

“We will try. There’s still a month but when we are short of time, we will finish that until early next year,” Olalia said in a virtual forum Monday.

The POEA has temporarily suspended the deployment of newly hired HSWs to Saudi Arabia after Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on November 25 issued a memorandum implementing the suspension in the wake of the abuses committed by a retired general against Filipinos.

The order particularly directed the labor attaches in Riyadh, Al Khobar, and Jeddah, to suspend temporarily the processing of newly hired workers.

Bello, in a statement on November 27, said the POEA and Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) need to come out with a new set of verification guidelines to prevent the abuses committed by Gen. Ayed Thawah Al Jealid.

He said Ayed was able to circumvent POLO and POEA rules on verification by placing in the employment contract a pseudo KSA employer when in fact he was the real employer.

Some of the general’s Filipino helpers were even detained.

Olalia said the POEA is coordinating with POLOs in Saudi Arabia and with other stakeholders to come up with well-crafted guidelines to prevent abuses.

“Of course, we will speed up the crafting of those new guidelines but before that, we will first get suggestions and inputs from all stakeholders especially our NGOs (non-government organizations) and recruitment agencies and then the POLO labor attaches, we need inputs,” he said.

“We will consolidate it and then we’ll make a working draft. We will send it to POLO for vetting then we will finalize,” Olalia added.

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