AS the leading destination of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Saudi Arabia would do well to come up with labor reforms designed to advance the rights and welfare of migrant workers.
And the government of the oil-rich Middle East kingdom, headed by His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, is doing just like that by launching its Labor Reform Initiative (LRI).
President Rodrigo Duterte said the launching of the LRI is a significant step towards addressing issues with the existing sponsorship system in the Middle East, according to Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert E.A. Borje.
Borje described Saudi Arabia’s reforms on migrants’ rights as bold and visionary, and deserving of support from partners.
The Filipino special envoy made the statement after meeting with kingdom’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) Ahmad Sulaiman Al Rajhi.
During the meeting in Saudi Arabia, Borje and the MHRSD minister renewed the two nations’ shared commitment aimed at ensuring the well-being of OFWs in the kingdom.
Borje also emphasized the Philippine commitment to work with Saudi in implementing its labor reform initiatives, notably those that advance the rights and welfare of migrant workers.
Also present during the meeting were Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sara Lou Arriola, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Enrico Fos and Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto.
And President Duterte expressed the hope that Filipino workers are included in the reform initiative.
The government deserves the support of the public as it tries to protect the interest of our army of OFWs whose dollar remittances help prop up the domestic economy.