Philippines looks for advanced labor cooperation with Saudi Arabia

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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The Philippines is seeking advanced labor cooperation with Saudi Arabia to uphold and protect the rights of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Gulf region.

The Philippines’ Special Envoy to Saudi Arabia, Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Mr. Robert Borje, has recently visited the Arab state intending to strengthen the bilateral ties and expand labor reform collaboration, as per the Malacañan Palace, the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the Philippines.

“President (Rodrigo) Duterte sends special envoy to Saudi Arabia to enhance ties, advance labor reforms cooperation, (and) ensure (the) well-being of OFWs. PAFA Borje is also expected to convey President Duterte’s key messages on the importance of the partnership and cooperation between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Palace said in a press statement.

The visit also aims to fulfill Mr. Duterte’s promised “Kalinga at Malasakit (Care and Compassion)” for OFWs, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palace added.

Mr. Borje and other members of the Philippine delegation are also expected to meet with officials of the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, and other relevant Saudi agencies. This is the second time Mr. Borje has been designated as Special Envoy to Saudi Arabia after he was appointed by Duterte as Special Envoy to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia in 2019.

Last month, Mr. Duterte and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has reinforced their commitment to deepen bilateral ties, including in trade and investment, and intensify the cooperation in migrant workers’ rights.

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