Manila: Philippine President-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, has assured undocumented Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to take up the matter to get them proper status in Arab countries.
Duterte’s administration will talk with the leaders of the Arab countries to come up with a solution and give consideration to Filipino migrant workers, Sun Star quoted him as saying.
“We will help them get proper status. I will ask the Arab countries to be more circumspect in arriving at (a solution),” he reportedly said after he met his Cabinet members at the presidential guest house inside the Department of Works and Public Highways depot in Panacan, Davao City.
He reportedly underscored that other countries, especially those where the OFWs are, must respect the dignity of the Filipino people.
“For a country like us, that is poor, they must understand there are things that they have to respect and one of it is the dignity of the Filipino,” he reportedly said, adding that the Philippines is exporting a workforce not anyone or anything else.
A report has listed a total of 150 undocumented OFWs in Saudi Arabia under the OFW Undocumented Legalization through Amnesty (Ofwula).
Ofwula chairperson Frederick Cornejo, had earlier said that these undocumented OFWs have asked Duterte to shed light on this problem and help them to return in the country.
Cornejo added that these migrant workers have been victims of unjust compensation, abuse and even rape.
Other OFW groups including the United OFW Worldwide (U-OFW), meanwhile, lauded Duterte’s statement in providing assistance to distressed, stranded, and undocumented OFWs.
Ofwula reported that there are around 800 ‘TNT’ or irregular OFWs in Riyadh; 80 distressed and stranded male OFWs with existing labor issues with their employer at the male shelter in Exit 8 villa in Riyadh and 150 female distressed and stranded, and eight with children at the Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh, Sun Star reported.