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MHRSD: Talks underway to bring in house workers from Philippines Saudi Arabia targets domestic help from more Asian and African countries
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 06 - 08 - 2022

RIYADH — Saad Al-Hammad, spokesman of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD), said that negotiations are still ongoing with the Philippines to resume hiring domestic workers from that country. In an interview with Al-Arabiya channel via Skype, he disclosed that the ministry is targeting new countries from Asia and Africa for the recruitment of house workers over the coming period.
Al-Hammad also hinted at the ministry's focus on hiring domestic help mainly from the Philippines and Thailand. It is noteworthy that the Council of Ministers earlier approved two agreements for hiring domestic workers from Thailand. The Cabinet approved the agreements in the fields of domestic labor and employment between the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development in Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Labor in Thailand.
Al-Hammad stressed that the ministry is working to diversify the countries that are sending domestic workers abroad. "The customer can choose domestic workers from more than 14 countries through the Musaned platform for the recruitment of domestic workers," he added.
Nearly two weeks ago, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. revealed that the country plans to pursue talks with Saudi Arabia with regard to resumption of sending Filipino workers to the Kingdom before lifting Manila's ban in this respect. In his first State of the Nation Address on July 25 after assuming presidency, he said the government plans to negotiate with the Kingdom on terms such as providing employees a decent wage and ensuring that their rights and welfare would be protected.
Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople will be flying to Saudi Arabia in the next months to ensure that there will be enough forces to ensure that the deployment of Filipino workers to Saudi Arabia will resume and to pursue Manila's campaign against human trafficking. Ople earlier said that she wants to iron out first guidelines on employment safety before lifting the deployment ban.
The Philippines' Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) temporarily suspended the verification of employment contracts and suspended the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) after thousands of workers were allegedly left with unpaid backwages with construction agencies.
It is noteworthy that the Musaned portal, under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, had suspended in December 2021 all requests to issue visas for Filipino domestic workers. This was in the wake of the Philippines Ministry of Labor's decision to suspend temporarily sending of its domestic workers to Saudi Arabia.

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