In 2009, the Ambassador of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the Philippines issued a memorandum increasing the minimum age requirement for workers, ensuring that only those above 21 years old can work there.
But agencies have found a way to circumvent this or cheat their way to making the workers older than they actually are. Sadly, many Pinays looking for work are the ones who ask the agencies to do this because they desperately need the job to support their families.
One of these is Narissa Sulaiman who confessed on social media that she is currently working in the Middle East despite being ‘under-aged’ because she wants to help make her family’s life better.
According to Sulaiman, her father was killed 10 years ago but because they have no money, they have no means to seek justice for his death even if they knew his killers. Seeing her mother perpetually exhausted so she could feed her brood, Sulaiman decided to work in the Middle East so she could make her mother’s life better.
While she didn’t mention her real age, she said that her kind employers knew how old she really was and that they didn’t mind because she explained her situation. They even gave her money for a simple celebration for her birthday.
Sulaiman was also quite lucky to have good companions as the other OFWs in the household act as her second moms and aunts while she’s away from her own family.
It is her dream that her siblings would be able to finish their studies and not be like her who wasn’t able to complete her education. She also shared that her ultimate dream is to build a house for her mother and give her a comfortable life.
What an admirable kid!
What is the Minimum Age to Work in Saudi Arabia?
Since 2009, all workers must be at least 21 years old; however, there are actually jobs that require workers to be older.
According to OFW Guide, these workers have higher minimum age requirements:
• Dressmakers – 30
• Barber and physical therapist – 35
• Salesman for textiles and ladies wear apparel shops – 40