Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

The Philippines has lifted its ban on workers in the construction sector, including female workers, going to Saudi Arabia. The ban was imposed after incidents of mistreatment of Filipino women in Saudi came to light

File photo IANS
File photo IANS


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A year ago, Philippine authorities banned sending domestic workers to the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia after several abuse cases came to light. Then thousands of Filipino construction workers were also faced with the problem of non-payment of wages.

In the past, several such videos were released on social media by Filipina maids, in which Saudi men were accused of sexually assaulting and torturing such domestic servants. A large number of Filipino women are employed in Saudi Arabia.

A new Department of Migrant Workers has been established in the Philippines and Susan Opal is its new head. He said that after months of discussions with Saudi Arabia, additional security measures have been agreed upon. A standard employment contract will now be adopted, providing employees with insurance coverage against non-payment of wages and allowing workers to change employers in the event of abuse.

Improvement of working conditions

“The new employment agreements will provide greater protections for workers,” said a statement released by Susan Opal. Our workers will now be able to find more rewarding employment in one of the largest labor markets in the world.”

Before the Corona epidemic, the number of Filipinos working in Saudi Arabia as of 2019 was about 190,000. In addition, the largest number of Filipino workers are in the United States, Singapore, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Opel added that Saudi officials will visit the Philippines this month to jointly review the issue of salaries for Filipino workers. The visit will resume talks on the non-payment of salaries of thousands of Filipino construction workers since 2016.

Filipinos working abroad

The Philippines has a total population of about 110 million and one in ten citizens work abroad. The remittances sent by them to their country have been keeping the economy of this country alive for a long time. Since Corona, the economic conditions of this country are suffering and in such a situation, 31 billion dollars were sent to their country by these workers last year.

However, Filipino workers are also paying a negative price. Migrant workers tend to come from poor families, while reports of their exploitation and ill-treatment often come to light.

Most of these incidents involve Filipina maids, in which they are subjected to severe torture. Such incidents often lead to protests in the Philippines. Philippine authorities are under intense pressure to ensure the safety of domestic workers working around the world.

There are also constant demands from the Philippine government to improve the country’s conditions so that no one needs to go abroad to earn.

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