POEA monitors case of OFWs in Saudi who sold blood for cash
The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) is looking into the cases of the OFWs in Saudi Arabia who have reportedly resorted to selling their blood for cash after their employer failed to give their salaries for five months.
In an interview on News To Go on Thursday, POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Jeddah are monitoring 113 labor cases filed by OFWs with the Saudi Labor Office against construction company Saudi Oger Ltd.
"It's a matter of resolving the disputes alongside sa pakikipag-usap dun sa employer at Saudi government, 'yung Saudi Labor Office na nakatutok pa rin dito," Cacdac said.
He added that recruiters of the OFWs in the Philippines have already offered their assistance in repatriating the Filipino workers who wish to return home. At the present, the POEA is monitoring 21 repatriation cases.
Saudi Oger Ltd. has already promised their employees that they will resume regular payment of salaries and will progressively disburse payment of their back wages by March.
The delays in payment were supposedly caused by lags in the construction division of a project, which Cacdac said were not related to the effects of declining crude prices in the oil-reliant Middle East.
"Yung delay, let me clarify, is not necessarily oil-related as mentioned to us by our labor attache. It is a situation where the company is engaged in financial hardship," Cacdac said.
However, he said it can't be denied that the oil situation has an impact on the OFWs.
"Hindi natin made-deny na may impact. That is why, with the directive of [Labor] Secretary [Rosalinda] Baldoz, talagang 24/7 ang aming monitoring, ang aming tutok dito sa sitwasyon," Cacdac said.