DOLE: Saudi Arabia to pay ₱4.6B in unpaid wages to OFWs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 31) – The Saudi Arabia government is expected to settle the ₱4.6 billion unpaid wages and end of contract payments of around 9,000 Filipino migrant workers, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Sunday.

Bello said the payment of the unsettled salaries and benefits will be made during the visit of the Middle East nation's labor minister Ahmed al-Rajhi in December.

"The unpaid salaries of our OFWs can be settled just in time for Christmas," said Bello.

The Labor secretary also said al-Rajhi has appealed to the Philippines to reconsider a possible deployment ban in the Gulf nation, at the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Dialog last week.

Bello warned of a deployment ban in the kingdom due to the unpaid salaries of the OFWs, who were forced to return to the country after they stopped receiving remuneration.

Several weeks ago, he had ordered DOLE line agencies to look into the possibility of the ban, after the Saudi government failed to facilitate the release of the amount despite their courts ruling in favor of the OFWs in 2016.