MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) has warned Filipinos with unpaid salaries from their Saudi Arabian employers not to transact with anyone, even from within the agency, who will offer to mediate in their behalf.
In a press briefing on Monday, DMW Secretary Susan Ople said aside from her, the only other person authorized to transact with claimants is Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac.
“We would like to reach out to all the claimants and their families and inform them that, number one, walang middlemen dito (there are no middlemen here). This is a purely government-to-government transaction and at the heart of it is ‘yung welfare ng ating (is the welfare of our) affected displaced OFWs (overseas Filipino workers),” Ople said.
The DMW has received reports from OFW claimants that people have approached them, offering help and mediation.
Ople said there are no details yet on how the payment will be made following the bilateral talks between President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr. and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday.
The prince pledged that the Saudi government would shoulder the wage claims of some 10,000 OFWs who were displaced after several Riyadh-based construction firms declared bankruptcy in 2015 and 2016.
“So kung may lumalapit po sa inyo, nagsasabi sa inyo na ito ang paraan para makakuha kayo ng wage nyo kaagad or may nagsasabi sa inyo pahingi ng contact details ninyo at kami na ang magsasabi sa inyo kung ano ang development, hindi po totoo ‘yun (So if someone approaches you, telling you that this is the way to get your wages immediately, or someone asks for your contact details and will tell you about the developments, that is not true),” Ople said.
The prince committed about 2 billion riyals for the unpaid salaries of OFWs employed by Saudi Oger Ltd., Mohammad Al Mojil Group and other construction firms.
Based on records, there are 8,829 claimants from Saudi Oger and 3,454 from Mohammad Al Mojil.
Ople said the DMW has zero tolerance for employees involved in corruption and other scammers.
“If someone approaches the claimant or their families, pretending to be a DMW staff or offering assistance in obtaining the claims, whether that is online, please take a screenshot, or even through telephone calls, please report them to us. We will not tolerate. We will report this to the cybercrime authorities,” Ople said.
If a scammer is indeed from DMW, it is tantamount to corruption of “the worst kind” and the offender will face dismissal from the service, Ople added. (PNA)