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Pinoy Abroad

KSA employers to pay for cost of OFWs' quarantine —POEA exec

Employers and sponsors of OFWs to be deployed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will now shoulder the cost of institutional quarantine requirement imposed by its government.

Super Radyo dzBB's Rod Vega reported that Saudi Ambassador to the Philippines Abdullah Al-Bussairy informed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III of the development through text message.

Bello was quoted in the report as saying that Al-Bussairy had received a letter from the KSA government ordering Saudi employers to shoulder the quarantine expenses of OFWs.

During the Laging Handa briefing, Administrator Bernand Olalia of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said Secretary Bello and Al-Bussairy met earlier and agreed on a letter clarifying KSA's advisory regarding quarantine requirements.

“Ipinaliwanag na po nila na hindi dapat kasama ang OFWs doon sa travel advisory kung saan may pananagutan na mag-institutional quarantine, at magbayad ng COVID-19  tests at insurance coverage,” Olalia said.

(They explained that the advisory requiring institutional quarantine, COVID-19 test, and insurance, should not cover OFWs.)

On Friday, Bello ordered a temporary suspension of deployment to the Middle Eastern country to ensure that OFWs will not be burdened by the quarantine protocol requiring them to pay for the cost of the 10-day quarantine.

Bello lifted the deployment ban on Saturday after KSA's clarification.

On the other hand, Olalia said 400 Filipinos are affected by the deployment ban imposed on Friday, and that they are now being assisted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

According to Olalia, the advisory on quarantine rules was issued by the Saudi government last May 11. 

Bello then said the government of KSA required all foreigners entering the country to undergo a 10-day quarantine. This will cost around $3,500. —LBG GMA News