A long wait

November 22, 2022 People's Tonight 300 views

AFTER almost eight years of waiting, there’s now enough reason for some 10,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), mostly construction workers, with unpaid salaries to rejoice.

This after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) met in Bangkok, Thailand last Friday.

During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the 29th ASEAN Summits, Prince Salman pledged that his government would shoulder the wage claims of the displaced workers.

Official records showed that the 10,000 Filipino migrant workers were displaced after Saudi Arabia-based construction companies declared bankruptcy in 2015 and 2016.

The Saudi prince committed some two billion riyals for the unpaid salaries of the workers employed by Saudi Oger Ltd., Mohammad Al Mojil Group and other construction firms.

Of the 10,000 claimants, 8,829 and 3,454 were from Saudi Oger Ltd. and Mohammad al Mojil, respectively.

DMW Secretary Susan Ople warned claimants not to deal with “middlemen,” adding that only she and Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac are authorized to transact with them.

“Walang middlemen dito. This is a purely government-to-governemen transaction and at the heart of it is ‘yung welfare ng ating affected displaced workers,”: she explained.

Of course, everybody is aware of the administration of President Marcos’ nationwide campaign against corruption and other shenanigans in the government service.

The 10,000 displaced OFWs and their relatives ought to heed the call of the DMW secretary, a daughter of the late Labor Minister Blas F. Ople, not to deal with “middlemen.”