DMW: Saudi labor minister to visit PH, changes to bilateral deal eyed

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 26) – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said Saudi Arabian Minister of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) Ahmad bin Sulaiman AlRajhi will visit the Philippines for bilateral talks, which may include amendments to the labor agreement between the two countries.

“'Yung balak kasi ng both sides, magkakaroon ng amendments sa bilateral labor agreement para maipasok doon ‘yung mga additional nilang ginagawa to enhance protection for the domestic workers,” DMW Secretary Susan Ople said in a press briefing on Friday.

[Translation: The plan of both sides is that there will be amendments to the bilateral labor agreement to include the additional initiatives they are doing to enhance protection for the domestic workers.]

Ople said representatives of the Saudi government will arrive in Manila next month to arrange the details of the minister's visit.

Unpaid claims and other proposed projects such as a special hiring program for skilled Filipino workers and the agency’s digitalization process are also among the agenda of the DMW once the representatives visit the country.

She added that the Saudi government has a health program that is free for foreign domestic workers – including Filipinos.

"Very progressive mag-isip ang Saudi Arabia [Translation: Saudi Arabia is very progressive in its thinking]," Ople said. “We are looking forward to their visit to the Philippines. I’m sure by the time that the minister visits the Philippines, mas klaro na ‘yung mga detalye about the claims [Translation: details about the claims will be clearer.]"