Migrant Workers Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople is set to meet with Saudi Arabia's Minister for Human Resources and Social Development, Ahmad Bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi on May 24 to discuss pressing labor matters related to overseas Filipino workers.
In an interview with GMA Integrated News, Ople shared that the Philippines will raise discussions with Saudi Arabia about possible salary increases for Filipino workers and specific details regarding Saudi Arabia's payment of back wages for at least ten thousand Filipino workers.
“Yung demand nila for Filipino workers, tataas ba? Discussions tungkol sa mga usaping sweldo and isa sa pinaka aabangan ng lahat yung progreso tungkol sa claims ng mga ten thousand workers,” Ople told GMA Integrated News.
Before Ople meets with Minister Al-Rajhi, preparatory talks will be held from May 21 onward.
During a meeting in November 2022 held in Bangkok, Thailand, on the sidelines of the APEC Summit, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia informed President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. that the Saudi government would provide funds to enable aggrieved OFWs to claim their back wages and other benefits from their private employers.
Ople stated that once Saudi Arabia approves the list, payment will be made.
The timeline and mode of payment will be discussed during the May 24 meeting. Ople is scheduled to leave Manila for Saudi Arabia on May 20, 2023. —VAL, GMA Integrated News