The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) has warned Filipinos with unpaid salaries from their employers in Saudi Arabia not to transact with anyone, even from within the agency, who offers to mediate on their behalf. DMW Secretary Susan Ople said on Monday that aside from her, the only other person authorized to transact with claimants is Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac.

She stressed that this is a purely government-to-government transaction and middle-men transactions are not authorized as this may affect displaced OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). 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, who 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.

She warned that there’s no truth to the fact if anyone approaches them claiming to help them get their wages immediately, or someone asks for contact details and tells them about the developments. 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.

She also warned the claimant or their families that if anyone pretends to be a DMW staff or offering assistance in obtaining the claims, whether that is online, to take a screenshot, or even through telephone calls, report them to the DMW. If a scammer is indeed from the DMW, it is tantamount to corruption and the offender will face dismissal from the service and face cybercrime measures, Ople added.

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