With the economic crisis still without end in sight, Filipino nurses working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, particularly those hired effective July 1, 2009, will have a fatter take home pay as the Ministry of Health headed by Minister Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rabeeah raised their salary to 40 percent from the old basic rate of Saudi riyal (SR) 2,550.
This increases the affected newly hired Filipino nurses’ monthly pay from SR2,550 to SR3,570, approximately P45,774.54 in today’s exchange rate (SR1=P12.8220), the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Recruitment Office (SRO) Manila headed by Fahad S. Al-Msaibeeh, employment attaché, said.
Covered by the salary increase are those hired effective July 1 and with at least one year working experience after passing the nurses’ board examinations. At the same time, the official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) urged Filipino nurses who want to work in the kingdom to make sure their documents are in order and contain no fraudulent records because the Saudi government is very strict in applying their laws.
Much earlier this year, Saudi Ambassador Mohammad Ameen Wali revealed his government’s plans to hire about 5,000 Filipino nurses as new medical facilities are being constructed in the kingdom as well as filling the manpower of existing facilities. The embassy had relayed this to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) under Secretary Marianito Roque for a government-to-government hiring of the nurses.
A delegation from the Saudi health ministry visited the Philippines recently and interviewed thousands of nurses for immediate hiring. Nurses to be assigned to Makkah and Madinah must be Muslim, while other Saudi areas accept both Muslim and non-Muslim workers. Saudi Arabia remains the top destination of Filipinos going abroad to work.