THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) rented temporary shelters in the city of Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to accommodate additional numbers of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Jeddah adopted the measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in its half-way home.
“We have to recourse or resort to this measure because of the increasing cases of Covid. Right now we are talking about 253 wards in our shelter in Jeddah.
That is overcrowded already,” Bello said in an online press briefing last Monday.
The labor chief issued the explanation after migrant advocates and labor groups raised concern over the announcement of the POLO-Jeddah that it stopped accepting distressed female OFWs last Thursday “in compliance [with] the health protocol” set by the Saudi
In an advisory, the POLO-Jeddah instructed relatives of the distressed OFWs “to contact the foreign recruitment agency of the said worker to provide the needed accommodation.”
Bello, however, said he also instructed officials to allocate an additional budget to the concerned POLO so it could rent additional shelters.
He said the measure is only temporary until they could bring home some of the current wards of the said shelter.
“We just have to resort to a creative approach by renting additional venues that could accommodate additional wards,” Bello said. “Hopefully, this October 27, the 253 [wards] will be repatriated,” he added.