Forcing A Philippine Agency To Honor A Contract

by Peter

I have a close Filipino friend whose cousin needs some help. He is 22 and signed a contract with an agency who flew him from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia to work in a hotel. The agreement was for a reasonable salary and working conditions. The moment he landed, they said the salary was almost half that was agreed on and to work 12 hours a day instead of 8. The agency is obviously trying to trap this naive young man into a bad job.

As this is probably a common occurrence, is there a union in the Philippines that his mother can get advice from? I would have thought a phone call from a large union to the agency would have some influence. Otherwise, would the Philippine high commission in Saudi Arabia get involved? Basically they need help.

Dom's reply: Known as contract substitution, this is one of the most pressing concerns of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) not only in Saudi Arabia but also in other parts of the world. The Philippine Embassy (we do not call them high commission) in Saudi Arabia can definitely get involved. Below are the contact information of the embassy and the consulate:

Embassy of the Philippines in Riyadh
H.E. (Mr.) Ezzedin H. Tago
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
D3 Collector Road C, Diplomatic Quarter
P.O. Box 94366, Riyadh 11693
Tel. Nos.(+9661) 482-3615 (+9661) 482-3615, 482-0507, 482-1801, 482-3816, 482-4354,488-0835, 482-0474, 480-3662
Fax No. (+9661) 488-3945 / 482-1856

Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah
Hon. (Mr.) Uriel Norman R. Garibay
Consul General
Ummul Qurah Street
Rehab District, Jeddah
Tel. No. (+9662) 669-6303 667-0925
Fax No. (+9662) 669-6797
Duty Officer: (+966) 515016318

Or contact the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila at telephone number (632) 8344000.

The OFW's mother can also ask the Philippine Employment Administration (POEA) to compel the agency to honor the contract. Advise the mother to go to:

POEA Legal Assistance Division
4th Floor Blas F. Ople Building
EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City
Tel. (632) 722 1144; (632) 722 1155

It is important to have records of all communications with any of the above government agencies. It will help when making follow up with them about this.

Please keep us posted on this.


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