RETRENCHMENT of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in some parts of the Middle East, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is ongoing, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
A total of 878 OFWs laid off earlier returned to the Philippines last March.
They brought to 1,187 the total number of OFW returnees served by the Labor department as of March 25 through its Assist WELL (Welfare, Employment, Livelihood and Legal Services) Program.
The program, the DOLE’s response to the displacement of the OFWs, is implemented through Assist WELL Centers manned by representatives of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, National Reintegration Center for OFWs, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Bureau of Local Employment.
It has 24 processing centers nationwide.
Of the 878 returnees, about 88 percent, or 776 OFWs, were documented while 11 percent, or 102 OFWs, were undocumented.
Nearly 63 percent, or 552 of them, were male.
A total of 201, or 23 percent of the 878 OFWs, complained of contract violations as reasons for their return to the country.
They cited delays or underpayment of salaries, contract substitution and non-payment of overtime pay and other benefits.
The DOLE said it is expecting more OFWs to come home for various reasons.