Riyadh, Manila spur efforts to resolve recruitment issues

In this May 19, 2013, file photo, Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz (left) and Saudi Deputy Minister of Labor Mufarrej bin Saad Al-Haqbani sign the Philippine-Saudi Labor Agreement in Riyadh. Delegates of the Saudi-Philippine Business Council have met recently in Manila to discuss areas of improvement on the agreement. (AN files)

In this May 19, 2013, file photo, Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz (left) and Saudi Deputy Minister of Labor Mufarrej bin Saad Al-Haqbani sign the Philippine-Saudi Labor Agreement in Riyadh. Delegates of the Saudi-Philippine Business Council have met recently in Manila to discuss areas of improvement on the agreement. (AN files)

Matters related to the recruitment of Filipino workers, including maids, nurses and technicians, topped the agenda of the Saudi-Philippine Business Council, which recently met in Manila, said Saad Al-Baddah, head of the Saudi delegation.

“We discussed several important issues of mutual concern, including labor issues and ways to overcome obstacles facing trade exchange and mutual investment,” he said.

Al-Baddah said the Saudi delegation had met with the president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and discussed ways to strengthen the business council and expand its activities.

“The Saudi delegation extended its support to facilitate labor recruitment and trade exchange between the two countries,” he said.

Al-Baddah said the Saudi delegation also met with the head of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Hans Cacdac, and discussed matters related to work contracts, adding that the Philippine side expressed its understanding over the various issues raised by the Saudis.

“We discussed the prospects of setting up a company to train and evaluate Filipino workers,” he said.

The Philippine side stressed the importance of the business council in promoting trade and investment between the two countries. “We are ready to export halal food to the Kingdom,” they said.

Filipino officials expressed their desire to take part in exhibitions in the Kingdom to promote the country’s products.

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