Philippines Halts Sending Migrant Workers to Saudi Arabia
(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines has suspended deploying workers to Saudi Arabia, its top destination for overseas labor, due to reports that migrants are being asked to shoulder costs of Covid-19 quarantine and insurance.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello issued an order on Thursday halting deployment to Saudi Arabia “until further notice,” the agency’s information director Rolly Francia said in a virtual briefing Friday.
Almost 500 workers bound for Saudi Arabia were barred from flying out on Friday, Francia said. Nearly 300 of them were excluded from a Philippine Airlines flight, the carrier said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia is the most preferred destination for Philippine migrant labor, accounting for one-fifth of total overseas workers’ deployment in late 2019, according to latest data from the statistics authority.
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