Help displaced OFWs get paid – Villanueva | Inquirer News

Sustain efforts to get displaced OFWs paid—Villanueva

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 10:21 AM February 09, 2024

PHOTO: Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva STORY: Sustain efforts to get displaced OFWs paid – Villanueva

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva (File photo from the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva on Friday, Feb. 9, asked the government to sustain efforts to secure unpaid wages of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced in Saudi Arabia and New Zealand.

Villanueva made the appeal after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. announced the release of over 1,000 checks, worth a total of P868,740,544, by the Saudi government to cover unpaid wages of OFWs who lost their jobs in companies that had gone bankrupt.


READ: Release of compensation for displaced Saudi OFWs ongoing – Marcos


The senator said all the back wages of OFWs displaced in Saudi should be paid.

“This is a welcome development, but we need to ensure that all of our displaced Saudi OFWs are paid 100 percent of their back wages,” Villanueva said in a statement.

Villanueva, author of the law that created the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), said the department should also be in constant dialogue with the government of New Zealand to protect 700 OFWs there who had been laid off in December 2023.

“We hope things are moving right now as we speak. We don’t want our OFWs from New Zealand to suffer the same fate as our Saudi workers who waited for 10 years,” Villanueva said.

He said he had already asked the DMW to continue coordinating with Saudi authorities for the immediate release of all the back wages and benefits of the displaced OFWs.

The DMW, he said, should continue helping OFWs with securing documents and other requirements for the release of back wages, which the senator said was cumbersome for some.


Hans Leo Cacdac, DMW officer-in-charge, said in a letter to Villanueva that from November to December 2023, checks had already been delivered to 1,506 OFWs who had been displaced in Saudi.

READ: DMW assists 452 OFWs affected by New Zealand firm’s closure

Cacdac said the DMW had already submitted to the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Development the names of 14,007 claimants and 10,554 OFWs who had already submitted Iqamas, or Saudi residence permits.

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He said the DMW is also working on a memorandum of agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines to help the claimants.

TAGS: Joel Villanueva, OFWs unpaid claim, overseas Filipino workers

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