The Philippine government is considering a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Saudi Arabia after receiving reports that domestic workers are being traded illegally within the country.
Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III said some employment agencies were trading their hired workers through auctions, Business Mirror reported. Bello said he will not hesitate to impose a deployment ban unless Saudi Arabia cracks down on the trade.
“This is a rampant practice, where workers are handed to new employers,” Bello said. “We will impose the same restrictions (as in Kuwait) and will consider a deployment ban if strengthened protection of our OFWs (overseas foreign workers) was not assured.”
Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia had urged the government to stop their employers from trading domestic workers, Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
One worker called Angel said domestic workers were auctioned from one employer to another and were not given contracts, which lead to the abuse and exploitation of many Filipinas.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration urged Filipinos who had been sold by their employers to seek its help immediately. The OWWA has an office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.