A total of 205 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) affected by the temporary deployment suspension are still unable to leave for Saudi Arabia as of Wednesday.
According to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Cacdac, the flights of such OFWs, most of whom are at the hotel, are still being rebooked.
But he said half of them have already got a flight schedule.
OWWA, on the other hand, ensured that they covered the cost of the hotel, food, and swab test of the OFWs.
“Nakausap din namin ang airline kahapon (Martes). And they committed na lahat sila, bibigyan ng schedule by June 5. Up to June 5, makalipad sila paalis,” explained Cacdac.
It will be recalled that on Friday, the Department of Labor and Employment suddenly issued a memorandum that OFWs will not be deployed to Saudi Arabia until the institutional quarantine crisis is resolved.
OFWs vaccinated by Sinovac are not safe under the 7-day institutional quarantine. The DOLE first negotiated for employers to bear the cost of quarantine of OFWs stabbed by Sinovac.
Over 200 Saudi bound OFWs still unable to leave
The Department of Labor and Employment on Saturday lifted the temporary suspension of the deployment of OFWs to Saudi Arabia.
“After receipt of the official communication from the Saudi government this morning which ensures us that the foreign employers and agencies will shoulder the costs of institutional quarantine and other COVID protocols upon arrival in the KSA, the temporary suspension of deployment to the Kingdom is hereby lifted,” Bello said.
The DOLE chief also thanked the Saudi government “for acting with dispatch and giving us reassurance” on the matter.
Bello also apologized to the OFWs affected by the temporary suspension.
“I understand that the suspension order drew confusion and irritation among our affected departing OFWs. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and momentary anguish that it may have caused our dear OFWs. It was in the best interest of our OFWs that such a decision had to be made,” Bello said.