The deployment of Filipino workers to Saudi Arabia resumed on Saturday with the government deciding to lift the temporary suspension imposed on early Friday.

The Saudi Embassy in Manila announced the resumption over Twitter and assured that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) would not be burdened by the travel protocol costs upon their arrival in the kingdom.

“The embassy would like to report on the resumption of sending Filipino workers after the temporary suspension, in agreement with the Filipino side, and to clarify the Kingdom’s government’s keenness to protect departing workers from the costs of precautionary protocols,” the embassy said in a statement.

OFWs bound for Riyadh numbering 283 and Dammam numbering  120 were left stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday after they were barred from boarding their flights due to the suspension order issued by the Department of Labor and Employment.

The temporary suspension came following initial reports that Filipinos were being required by their employers to shoulder the cost of health and safety protocols for the coronavirus disease 2019 and insurance coverage premium upon entry to Saudi Arabia.

It was learned that the cost of the institutional quarantine and insurance is 3,500 Saudi rials (about P48,000).

In a separate statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he already advised the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to immediately implement the lifting of the suspension and provide the necessary clearance to all departing Filipino workers. SOVEREIGNPH

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