A view of the Saudi skyline Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Saudi and Philippine officials in the private sector of both countries have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed to provide “professional” manpower from the Philippines to meet the needs of the labour market in the kingdom through partnerships with specialised international firms.

The deal was sealed between human resources sectors in the two countries at a Saudi-Philippine roundtable meeting in Riyadh.

President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. of the Philippines and Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al Faleh attended the meeting. Representatives of major companies in the human resources field as well as government and private sectors in both countries attened too.

Investment opportunities

The meeting also explored investment opportunities, and discussed consolidating economic links between the kingdom and the Philippines and making use of skilled Filippino labour in different sectors, Saudi media reported.

On Friday Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met the Philippine president on the sidelines of a GCC-ASEAN summit in Riyadh.

Around 725,000 Filipinos are living in Saudi Arabia, according to recent Saudi statistics.

Recruitment resumes

Last November, Saudi Arabia announced resuming recruitment of Filipino domestic workers after a months-long halt. This recruitment was suspended in Saudi Arabia in late 2021.

The Philippine embassy was quoted at the time as saying the suspension was due to new regulations issued by the Philippine Ministry of Labour governing the contractual relationship between Filipino house workers and their foreign employers.

Saudi labour authorities have recently sought to regulate the domestic labour market. To this end, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources launched the Musaned domestic labour programme to help customers learn about their rights and duties, and related services including visa issuance, recruitment requests and contractual relation between the employer and the worker.

The ministry has said it is necessary to conduct contracting via the Musaned, being the official recruitment platform.