Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have expressed elation regarding the Saudi Cabinet’s approval of the labor agreement signed between the Kingdom and Philippines in May last year.
“It’s great news, especially for Filipino household service workers (HSWs) who are now assured of receiving a SR1,500 monthly salary under the agreement,” said Cenon “Nonie” C. Sagadal of the RCBC-Telemoney and a community leader.
He noted that “many HSWs like housemaids were, and still are, receiving less than the stipulated salary despite the signing of the agreement.”
The landmark agreement was signed between Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz and Saudi Deputy Labor Minister Mufarrej bin Saad Al-Haqbani.
In Assir Region, Andy Relox, a statistician at the King Khaled University, expressed the hope that the assurance of receiving regular monthly salaries will be an encouragement for HSWs to be good examples for other foreign workers. In Alkhobar, Eduardo R. Rodriguez, spare parts manager at Arab Equipment added, “The Saudi Cabinet’s move is very encouraging. I just hope that concerned parties – employer and the employee – will fulfil their parts of the bargain.”
Aside from housemaids, other HSWs include nannies, cooks, family drivers and gardeners.
Rodriguez added that while the HSWs do their job properly, the employers should also treat them fairly and consider them part of the family.
“If that happens, I’m sure the HSW will be under their employ for many years. I know of a Filipino maid in Alkhobar who has been working for her employer for the last 29 years,” said Rodriguez, also a community leader.
Even stranded HSWs at the Bahay Kalinga (BK) in the Saudi capital also expressed happiness about the news: “For many years I was not receiving the agreed amount from my four previous employers. But now, they will be forced to pay their housemaids the salary stipulated under the agreement,” she said, requesting that she not be named.
She added that she won’t benefit from it because she was already awaiting her repatriation to the Philippines but is happy that HSWs like her in the Kingdom will eventually receive a monthly salary considered to be fair.
She thanked both the Philippines and Saudi Arabia for this new progress.