Buildings in Yemen by Saudi forces, 26 May 2015. REUTERS FILE PHOTO
MANILA – Four overseas Filipino workers of Hyatt Hotel in Saudi Arabia were injured when alleged Yemeni Houthi rebels resumed mortar shelling and hit their staff accommodation in southwestern Arabian region, it was learned Monday.
The four Filipinos were “only slightly injured” and “are now safe,” Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said quoting a report from Labor Attache Jainal “Jun” Rasul on the recent shelling that hit military facilities and some residences.
The incident prompted Baldoz to instruct POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac to meet with Philippine licensed recruiters deploying workers to Najran City, Saudi to update them on the situation in the area and to map out additional safety measures for them.
“Labor Attache Rasul is requesting that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration meet with the Philippine recruitment agencies deploying OFWs to Najran so they can be updated and they can coordinate their action with their foreign counterparts to ensure the safety of their workers there,” she added.
In his report, Labor Attache Rasul said he sent a team to Najran City composed of three POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office) staff as soon as the cross-border hostilities were monitored to assist OFWs in the city.
The team reported that some business establishments very near the border have closed shop, and many Filipinos have already sought the help of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah for their possible relocation to safer places.
Najran is 900 kilometers south of Jeddah, or a 12-hour travel by land.
Rasul, who just recently returned from Najran to Jeddah, said there are some 2,000 OFWs in the city.
“More than half of them are working in hospitals. The Ministry of Health in Najran estimates the number of OFWs working as staff in various seven MOH hospitals to be 711, in addition to 306 nurses and other medical staff at the Armed Forces Hospital. Other nurses are working in private hospitals and clinics across the city. The rest of our OFWs are in construction, services, maintenance, and other sectors,” Rasul said.
He said nine government-owned establishments, including the Saudi Customs and Saudi Electricity Co., are employing OFWs in Najran, while 74 private business establishments have Filipinos working for them.
In his report, Labor Attache Rasul said the Philippine licensed recruitment agencies deploying workers to Najran include: MGM Recruitment; MMS; ABBA Recruitment; Mega Manpower; JS Contractors; Eastwest Placement; Workgroup; EGMP Manpower; MHD Manpower & Human Development; Perfect Employment Agency; OTG/Greengate International Manpower;
Rotana International Manpower; LAO International Placement; White Wings; Samaric; Noor Agency; Noura AI Zaabi Manpower; First Step Manpower; New Pilipino Manpower/Kimobo Agency; Staff Consolidated Agency; AI Farabi; SED/ Paris International; E-Life International Recruitment; lnsana International Placement; AI Habeshi International Services; Manumoti Manpower International;
Pacific Mediterranean International; Global Prof Resources Philippines; Philippine Global Multi Services; Log International HR & Rec; MHO Manpower & Human Development; Shaso International Manpower; Bison Management; M.S. Brains International; Meccaj Manpower; Ascent Skills Human Resources; Horas Human Resources; NIR Placement Center; Fil Expat Placement; September Star;
Landbased Human Resources; Hopewell Overseas Manpower Network; A&C International Resources; Batangueno Human Resources; M/S Filipinas-Global Multi Services; Filipinas Global Multi Services; CAZ International, Inc.; Finest Asia Resources; Khalid International Recruitment; Placewell International Services; Raysa International Smart Employment; September Star Inc.; and M/S AI Rafedain Manpower.
Baldoz’s standing order to Rasul is to closely monitor the situation and to closely coordinate with the Philippine embassy on the best course of action in case border attacks of Najran continue.