Press Release No. 126
02 August 2012
Philippine Embassy Presses Employer
for Repatriation of 88 Workers
The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh continues to press an erring employer for the repatriation of its Filipino workers while it continues to engage in dialogue and extend assistance to the affected workers.
The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), continues to extend assistance to eighty-eight (88) Filipino workers of Al-Swayeh in Riyadh who are now temporarily staying at POLO’s offices in Riyadh.
In a dialogue between POLO-Riyadh and the workers, Labor Attaché Albert Valenciano explained that the delay in their repatriation is because of Al Swayeh’s continued failure to facilitate the issuance of their exit visas. Labatt Valenciano recognized that the Filipino workers have faithfully completed their contracts and did not abandon their work. He also gave assurances that as soon as exit visas are secured, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA-Manila) will provide for the plane tickets home.
Strong representations are also being made with high officials of the Office of the Governor of Riyadh and the Saudi Ministry of Labor for the implementation of a decision compelling Al Swayeh to facilitate the repatriation of the affected workers.
On 30 July and 01 August 2012, POLO-Riyadh officials met with Al Swayeh management representatives to press for the early release of the exit visas. They also met with Mr. Abdulaziz Mohammad, assistant of Deputy Minister of Labor Hamad al Hodaithi, to request for the payment of the end-of-service benefits of 28 workers who have not received this benefit, as well as to pressure Al Swayeh to facilitate the issuance of the exit visas. Al Swayeh was required by the Saudi Government to pay the immigration penalties for its failure to renew the residence permits (iqama) of its workers.
The eighty-eight workers staying in POLO-Riyadh’s offices are extended meal assistance daily. Through coordination by POLO-Riyadh, a medical and dental mission of Filipino medical volunteers will be conducted on 03 August 2012 to serve the health needs of the workers. Thirty-eight (38) of the said workers have earlier undergone medical check-up and were provided the prescribed medicines. END.