Department of Migrant Workers

Gov’t calls on all Saudi OFW claimants to send email for back wages

Michelle Abad

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Gov’t calls on all Saudi OFW claimants to send email for back wages

INSTRUCTIONS. Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople holds up a paper containing the email address that OFWs with unpaid labor claims from Saudi Arabia must contact, in a press conference at the Department of Migrant Workers headquarters, April 14, 2023.

Michelle Abad/Rappler

The Department of Migrant Workers urges OFW-claimants to send emails with details of their claims to, regardless of whether they had raised their concerns to authorities before

MANILA, Philippines – In a bid to finally end the long wait of thousands of retrenched overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for their unpaid labor claims from Saudi Arabia, the Philippine government has called on all claimants to send an email to a designated address for them to finally receive their salaries.

On Friday, April 14, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople said she was confident that the end was near for the issue of unpaid labor claims for OFWs who were employees of Saudi Arabian companies that went belly-up sometime around 2015 and 2016.

Ople said that the Saudi Arabian government asked the Philippines for the full list of claimants across the bankrupt companies. A special committee the Saudi government created would verify and approve the list.

All claimants, whether or not they have raised their claims with authorities before, were instructed to write to this email address:

This is the template the DMW suggested claimants should use to ensure that all relevant information is provided:

Dear DMW,

Ako po si ____. Nagtrabaho ako sa Saudi bilang ____ noong [taon] hanggang [taon]. Ang pangalan ng company ko ay ____.

Ang aking IQAMA # ay:

Ang lumang passport # ko ay:

Ang suweldo ko noon ay:

Ang aking hinahabol na claims ay:

Para sa karagdagang info, maaari ‘nyo akong tawagan sa # na ito:

Ang aking address ay:

Maraming salamat po.

Ople gave a deadline for OFWs to send in their emails by May 1. She is set to meet with her counterparts in Saudi Arabia on May 24, where she expects to learn more specifics, such as the schedule of when payouts will begin.

The Philippine government estimates around 10,000 OFWs were affected. Some of the claimants have already died.

In November 2022, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bangkok. The Crown Prince promised that the Saudi government would pay the 10,000 OFWs who were waiting for their salaries.

The DMW said it would form a team dedicated solely to responding to emails and helping workers submit clear, accurate information for their claims to be validated. Ople also advised OFWs to be wary of fraudsters and fake middlemen, and affirmed that the provided email address is the only email address that will contact claimants or their next of kin.


Laurence Flores Jimenez returned to the Philippines in 2017 after working as a cook for eight years in the construction firm Mohammad Al-Mojil Group (MMG), which suffered bankruptcy.

While Jimenez was grateful that the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte paid some attention to the issue, there was still a “lack of clarity” on how claimants would receive their wages. He said he started to get a sense of clarity amid the developments during Marcos’ term.

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The press conference where Ople announced the development with the email instructions was streamed on Facebook, where Jimenez and his colleagues watched.

Nabuhayan po ako ng loob. Siguro kasama rin ‘yung mga kasamahan namin, kasi ang dami naming nanonood kanina via online. Parang nabuhayan kami ng loob na nagkaroon ng linaw ‘yung pinaglalaban po namin,” Jimenez said in a video interview with reporters after the event.

(I was encouraged. I think I can also speak for my colleagues because there were many of us watching earlier online. We felt encouraged because there was now clarity in what we were fighting for.)

Jimenez asked to withhold the amount of his claim, but said that he always wanted to put up a business. Once he received the money, he looked forward to finally realizing that dream.

Ang plano ko talaga is doon sa livelihood, ‘yung business na lang po, palaguhin,” he said. (My plan is really to pursue livelihood, and grow my business.)

Because the DMW emphasized the importance of sending emails, even for those who had sent appeals before, KAKAMMPI (Association of Overseas Filipino Workers and their Families) chairperson Mafe Nicodemus raised a concern on those who may not receive the news before the May 1 deadline.

Kung hindi kayo makaka-beat doon sa 10,000 [target], paano, what happens next? So ‘yun siguro titingnan natin at susubaybayan dito sa DMW sa pagbibigay at pagpo-process ng kanilang mga papers,” Nicodemus said.

(If you don’t beat the 10,000-target, what happens next? That is what we’ll watch for in this issue, as they pay out and process their papers.) –

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a multimedia reporter at Rappler. She covers the rights of women and children, migrant Filipinos, and labor.