Saudi Ministry of Labor, end of service award calculator


Saudi Labor Law

Section Four: End-of-Service Award

Article 84
Upon the end of the work relation, the employer shall pay the worker an end-of-service award of a half-month wage for each of the first five years and a one-month wage for each of the following years. The end-of-service award shall be calculated on the basis of the last wage and the worker shall be entitled to an end-of-service award for the portions of the year in proportion to the time spent on the job.

Article 85
If the work relation ends due to the worker’s resignation, he shall, in this case, be entitled to one third of the award after a service of not less than two consecutive years and not more than five years, to two thirds if his service is in excess of five successive years but less than ten years and to the full award if his service amounts to ten or more years.

Article 86
As an exception to the provision of Article (8) of this Law, it may be agreed that the wage used as a basis for calculating the end-of-service award does not include all or some of the commissions, sales percentages, and similar wage components paid to the worker which are by their nature subject to increase or decrease.

Article 87
As an exception to the provisions of Article (85) of this Law, the worker shall be entitled to the full award if he leaves the work due to a force majeure beyond his control. A female worker shall likewise be entitled to the full award if she ends her contract within six months from the date of her marriage or three months from the date of giving birth.

Article 88
Upon the end of the worker’s service, the employer shall pay his wages and settle his entitlements within a maximum period of one week from the date of the end of the contractual relation. If the worker ends the contract, the employer shall settle all his entitlements within a period not exceeding two weeks. The employer may deduct any work-related debt due to him from the worker’s entitlements.

Below is the screen shot of the Ministry of Labor, end of service award calculator (please click the screen shot image to the direct link of the Saudi Ministry of Labor ESB calculator). You may fill the details of your employment such as: Type of Contract, Reason for End of Service, Salary and Duration of Service.

Click the “amount” and check the figures of your end of service award on top of the “green calculator.” 

For more relevant info about how to compute your End of Service Award or ESB, please click here>>>> to QSaudi.com website.  Quintessentially Saudi – QSaudi.com is a multi-portal website dedicated to provide you important and useful information about Saudi Arabia.

esb1

Fabricating OFW Distress Call could face serious consequences


There are many kinds of OFW Distress call or information, those in need of immediate assistance through rescue effort and or a formal complaint in form of a letter or email or personal visit to our Philippine Embassy, POLO/OWWA as may believe proper under such any given circumstances.

In an imminent danger to an OFW in distress, a form of a rescue is sought. But a call or an information from an OFW in distress and or a third-party should be cautiously investigated prior to a plan rescue. Our diplomatic corps or the concerned agencies mentioned above will verify the veracity of any given distress calls. Though a frightening, frantic, desperate or threatening circumstances must be acted immediately.

Some distress calls may also be through a formal letter or email complaint addressed to our Philippine Embassy, POLO/OWWA. It can be relayed from a representative like friends, wife, husband, brother, sister,  relatives or from  NGO on behalf of the OFW in distress.

Our Philippine Embassy, the Philippine Overseas  Labor Office, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration are there to assist when OFW distress call or information is receive as mandated by R.A. 10022, the Migrants Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act as amended.   

However, may I remind our readers and fellow OFWs that fabricating stories, claims or complaint just to gain sympathy from the concern government agencies could face serious consequences, not only to the so-called OFW in distress but also to the one who give false information. Criminal liability awaits to those OFWs or to the third-party involve who make up accusations against their employer, if proven otherwise.   

There are many OFWs out there who are truly in need of an immediate help, therefore misrepresenting and or a mere allegation to make a complaint could hamper other genuine distress calls that our Embassy/POLO/OWWA may attend to.  

lovers quarrelTo those OFWs with marital problems, like non remittance of salaries and philandering OFW spouses, my post “hold departure order” can give you an insight on what to do. But make sure that you have the legal right to file a formal complaint against your spouse. If you and your partner are not legally married, talk to your lover in the lover’s lane, open up with each other, try to solve the issue of lover’s quarrel and close the matter amicably. Lastly, don’t disturb others’ lives because there are more people in desperate and in difficult situation that in need of more attention to deal with.   – BongA

 related posts:

http://ofwempowerment.com/2013/08/23/not-anymore-a-question-of-morality/

http://ofwempowerment.com/2007/06/21/the-other-side-of-maltreatment-and-abuse/

http://ofwempowerment.com/2009/08/09/kumakatok-lang-po-distress-call/ 

Internet Voter Registration System for Overseas Filipinos Goes Global


 07 August 2015 – The Department of Foreign Affairs – Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) advices the public that iREHISTRO is now global.  iREHISTRO is a system that provides another way of accomplishing forms for voter registration related process. Prospective applicants still have to appear personally at Foreign Service Posts or Mobile/Field registration sites, to sign and submit their duly accomplished printed form, and for biometrics capturing. In addition, the processed applications still have to be approved by the Resident Election Registration Board (RERB).
Click here for the Online Application Form

Click Image for the Online Application Form

Overseas Filipinos in the Asia Pacific (except China and Taiwan), Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa region now have the option of filling up the forms from the comfort of their homes, workplace, internet café, or anywhere they have access to reliable internet connection. The optional appointment feature of the system allows for better time management since it provides them an easy way to schedule their personal appearance at the Embassy, Consulate General, Mission or Mobile/Field registration site.

All Filipino citizens who expect to be in the Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa during the 30-day (09 April – 09 May 2016) overseas voting period for the 2016 National Elections, at least 18 years old on 09 May 2016, not otherwise disqualified by law and who would like to be among the first overseas Filipinos to become part of this historical evolution of the Philippine overseas electoral process, may now go to irehistro.comelec.gov.ph/ov or http://www.comelec.gov.ph  to access the iREHISTRO System to register as an overseas voter. The voter registration period ends on October 31. END

Source: DFA Website 

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Philippine Embassy-Riyadh Advisory: 

Advisory on the Temporary Suspension of  Overseas Voting On-Line Services

(Riyadh, 11 August 2015) – The Philippine Embassy informs the Filipino community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that, per advice from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), the following overseas voting services will be unavailable to the public during the period 10–12 and 17–18 August 2015:

  1. All automated Finger Identification System (AFIS) related services and process such as AFIS matching, ID generation and all verification and record searching;
  2. COMELEC website together with the iREHISTRO and Precinct Finder.

The temporary suspension of services is due to the interruption of public utilities in the COMELEC Head Office. (END)

Oman extends amnesty program


August 4, 2015 : From the Department of Foreign Affairs

The Philippine Embassy in Muscat has been informed that the Government of the Sultanate of Oman will extend the amnesty program for foreign undocumented workers until October 28.

The Philippine Embassy in Oman

The Philippine Embassy in Oman

The amnesty program which originally began on May 03 this year was to end on July 31. With the recent announcement, the Philippine Embassy has stepped up its efforts to encourage undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Oman to avail of the amnesty and avoid paying overstay penalties and other fines.

Philippine Ambassador to Oman Narciso T. Castañeda welcomed this development and views this as an opportunity for undocumented OFWs to return to the Philippines without facing any legal actions.

Media reports have placed around 7,382 undocumented workers of various nationalities as having been deported under the amnesty program. Of this figure, 162 OFWs were among those who have been deported, including all of the 29 distressed OFWs sheltered in the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Muscat (POLO-Muscat). The FWRC has, as of to date, maintained zero ward.

Undocumented OFWs in Oman who may wish to avail of the amnesty under the extended period are advised to contact the POLO-Muscat hotline no. (+968) 9355-7931. Notices and a guide on how to avail of the program have been posted in the Philippine Embassy in Muscat website (www.muscatpe.dfa.gov.ph) and its Facebook page.  (taken from Philippine Government Official Gazette)

PNoy SONA’s Words of Wisdom


aquinoMy collections of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III,  State of the Nation Addresses or  SONA’s that are well said, also truly worth remembering and will stick in my memory longer.   Thank you Mr. President for the Job Well Done! 

First SONA:

I encourage everyone to take a step towards participation rather than fault-finding. The former takes part in finding a solution; from the latter, never-ending complaints.

Second SONA:

Let us make the effort to recognize the good that is being done.

Third SONA:

Thank those who have done their share in bringing about positive change in society. 

Fourth SONA:

You made this transformation possible

Fifth SONA:

The transformation we are experiencing now, we can make permanent with the guidance of God.

Last (Sixth) SONA:

The reforms we have sown along the straight path are already bearing fruit, and will bear an even more bountiful harvest in the future. But this will only happen if we nurture and protect what we have already planted.

Phil. Embassy-Riyadh Press Release # 089-2015


Maramihang Pagpapauwi ng mga may kasong “Mothers and Children” sinimulan na; Ilan pang mga kaso hinihikayat na makipag-ugnayan sa Embahada

mother and child(Riyadh, 30 June 2015) – Ipinababatid ng Embahada ng Pilipinas na kasalukuyan pong nagsasagawa ng maramihang pagpapauwi ang Embahada ng mga Mothers/Fathers and Children Cases na sumailalim sa DNA Testing noong ika-17 hanggang ika-25 ng Agosto, 2014.

Ngayong Hunyo, nakapagpauwi na ang Embahada ng 179 na katao, kabilang na rito ang 68 na mga ina, 4 na mga ama, 1 guardian, 81 na mga bata at 25 na mga sanggol.

Kaugnay nito, meron pang mga ilang indibidwal na magulang na hindi ma-kontak ng Embahada.

Muling nananawagan ang Embahada sa mga sumusunod na lumapit, tumawag o mag-email sa lalong madaling panahon upang mabigyan ng kaukulang tulong sa pagpapauwi sa Pilipinas:

1. Abas, Jehan Tuansi 35. Hilario, Maria Luisa P.
2. Abdul, Rahima Pasagi 36. Jabunan, Yasmeen
3. Abdula, Zakiah Abo 37. Kad, Arbaya Nasa
4. Abdullah, Jasmin Wahab 38. Katua, Aida Adam
5. Ablayan, Nurmelyn Tulawie 39. Kusain, Norma M.
6. Adel, Ferhana 40. Lagayan, Zainab A.
7. Albaracin, Rodrina 41. Lais, Marites Lapitan
8. Ali, Minah Piang 42. Mamadra, Janeth L.
9. Aljas, Perlita L. 43. Mawanay, Maricel
10. Anas, Mary Jane 44. Miguel, Marsima
11. Annudin, Elma 45. Muhajili, Sakur
12. Arnaldo, Alelyn A. 46. Nadjala, Harida
13. Askalani, Sharhata Hassan 47. Nicanor, Farhana
14. Atong, Akrima 48. Orteza, Jane
15. Anuddin, Elma Arakani 49. Palma, Joanne A.
16. Aldea, Wella 50. Pangcoga, Fatmah Amor
17. Basilio, Hardiolyn G. 51. Polwa, Norma M.
18. Barra, Naima Comadug 52. Rahman, Norhata
19. Biason, Elsie Cobal 53. Radzak, Heria U.
20. Bornales, Rowena 54. Radzak, Sally F.
21. Compania, Suraida Usman 55. Salim, Sapia U.
22. Dela Cruz, Analisa Sampayan 56. Sandron, Aniza Benito
23. Delos Santos, Francia 57. Sansaluna, Fatima
24. De Sales Apple Arnieden Ros 58. Siena, Jennifer
25. De Chavez, Ronnie 59. Sumagka, Asnah
26. Druog, Jelyn D. 60. Sunggay, Hyra Alon
27. Enter, Haniah Api 61. Tadaya, Pepito M.
28. Flores, Katherine Joy Cadorna 62. Tasil, Sarita Muslimin
29. Gacula, Kristy Joy Estrada 63. Trono, Lorena P.
30. Gampar, Analyn Mohammed 64. Tuliao, Emelita
31. Gonatice, Annie 65. Utto, Salima A.
32. Granada, Irene A. 66. Wahab, Sittie Galmak
33. Hajan, Mudzrifa Amih 67. Wallahu, Nur-in Ibrahim
34. Hataya, Hayria Odiang 68. Yaun, Maria Rodita

Mangyari lang tumawag kaagad kay Mr. Donald Fermin sa mga numerong 0509778651, 0114803662 at 0114801918, o di kaya’y mag-email sa rype@riyadhpe.com

Ang mga nabanggit na Mothers/ Fathers and Children cases ay kailangang makipag-ugnayan sa Embahada upang maisaayos ang kanilang exit visa at agarang pag-uwi sa Pilipinas.

Ang mga Mothers/Fathers and Children cases na wala sa talaan ngunit maaaring hindi pa natatawagan ng Embahada ay inaanyayahan ding agad na tumawag sa mga nabanggit na numero.   (WAKAS)

3 OFWs charged with murder in Saudi Arabia freed in the past month


23 June 2015: The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh announced in their website the released of three (3) OFWs charged with murder for the past month.

The embassy facilitated the release of two male and one female OFWs in a span of thirty-three days. The male OFWs were convicted of killing fellow Filipino and the other a Saudi national. The female OFW for killing her own child upon delivery, according to the report.  

The Philippine Embassy usually withheld the identities of Filipinos convicted of murders on the request of the OFWs family for personal and privacy reasons.

Talks between the two countries in terms of cases like murder conviction of their nationals are a very sensitive issue that needs diplomatic efforts.  

Embassies around the world would make sure that diplomacy is being observed more particularly when murder cases of their nationals went through the appeals process.   

The two male OFWs were repatriated to the Philippines on May 14 and June 17, 2015 respectively.

saudi-arabias-king-salman-bin-abdulaziz

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness, King Salman bin Abdulaziz

The female OFW was assisted in court by the Embassy-hired lawyer and received royal clemency prior to the completion of her sentence and implementation of lashes. The Embassy repatriated her to the Philippines on 11 June 2015.

The Saudi government grants pardon during the holy month of Ramadan to convicted offenders. The Philippine Embassy is now reviewing all OFWs in death rows and those with light offenses and come up a list for submission, requesting a royal prerogative clemency addressed to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The Philippine government through the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and Philippine Consulate in Jeddah are exerting their best efforts to gain royal pardon in Ramadan after the families of the victim refused to accept blood money. – BongA      

POEA cancels recruitment license of persistent deceiver


POEA cancels recruitment license of persistent deceiver

6/10/2015: Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac has cancelled the license of Crystal Fallah-Ville International Manpower Services, for submitting fake or double visas and forged documents to the POEA.

In one case filed motu propio against Crystal Fallah-Ville, the agency submitted documents for processing including a visa for a teacher that was found to have been altered. The visa was verified to have been originally issued to another sponsor for the position of a servant or a household service worker.

poea-chief-hans-leo-cacdac_A184DA45C7E44159B27726932289A8BA

POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac

The agency argued that they never had a hand on the tampered visa and it was an “innocent mistake” by the agency for submitting the visa which was personally acquired by the applicant.

In another case of misrepresentation, Cacdac said the recruitment agency Crystal Fallah-Ville presented a forged request or endorsement for processing of employment documents to the POEA. The liaison officer of Crystal Fallah-Ville said he delivered the said document to the POEA in good faith, not knowing that one signature was falsified.

The third case was about a visa written in Arabic that the agency submitted to the POEA for processing together with documents of a dressmaker bound for Saudi Arabia. The official translator of Arabic visas at the POEA, however, disclosed that the skill category was not for a dressmaker but a domestic helper.

The agency representative declared that it was once again an “innocent mistake” due to clerical error, considering that the visa was in Arabic. He tried to rectify the alleged error by submitting a dressmaker visa, which the agency claimed was the true position of the worker. However, a careful scrutiny of the two visas revealed that except for the skill category, they bore the same entries such as dates, validity and visa number.

Cacdac said the recruitment agency has the responsibility to ensure authenticity and validity of documents submitted to the POEA because they are liable for any irregularity in its issuance.

“Honest mistake, oversight or even good faith, assuming they are true, cannot be considered as an exculpating defense. Such explanation or admission does not change the fact that the recruiter deceived both the government and OFWs, and violated the POEA rules and regulations on misrepresentation,” Cacdac added.

The penalty of cancellation of license is imposed on a recruitment agency with three or more misrepresentation offenses. END

Philippine Embassy-Riyadh Advisories


ABISO UKOL SA OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATE (OEC)
AT OWWA MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

ann

UPDATE :  (Riyadh, ika-24 ng Hunyo 2015) – Nais ipa-alam ng Embahada ng Pilipinas na ang serbisyo ng POLO para sa pag-isyu ng Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) at pag-renew ng OWWA Membership ay maaari na muling makuha sa orihinal na opisina ng POLO-Riyadh sa Umm Al Hammam, Riyadh, sa may bandang likod ng Hyper Panda Supermarket.

Ang POLO-Riyadh ay mananatili sa kanilang orihinal na opisina hanggang matapos ang pag-ayos at paglipat sa kanilang bagong lokasyon sa ibang parte ng Riyadh.

Maglalabas ng abiso ang Embahada ukol sa bagong lokasyon ng POLO sa lalong madaling panahon. (WAKAS)

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(Philippine Embassy, Riyadh/27 ng Mayo 2015) – Bilang pansamantalang lunas sa pagsasara ng opisina ng Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) sa Riyadh, ipinapag-alam ng Embahada ng Pilipinas na ang serbisyo ng POLO para sa pag-isyu ng Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) at pag-renew ng OWWA Membership ay maaaring makuha sa Embahada sa Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh.

Simula sa darating na Linggo, ika-31 ng Mayo 2015, ang mga representatibo ng POLO ay magpro-proseso ng OEC at OWWA membership renewal, araw-araw, Linggo hanggang Huwebes, mula alas-9 ng umaga hanggang alas-4 ng hapon.

Pinapaalala ng Embahada na ito ay isang pansamantalang paraan lamang upang maihatid ang serbisyo ng POLO sa mga Pilipinong manggagawa. Puspusan pa rin ang POLO sa Riyadh sa paghahanap ng bagong lokasyon. Maglalabas ng abiso ang Embahada ukol sa bagong lokasyon ng POLO sa lalong madaling panahon. (WAKAS): Press Release No. PR-075-2015

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OFWs Have the Right to Keep Their Own Passports

(Philippine Embassy/Riyadh, 21 May 2015) – The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reiterates to all Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia that, under Saudi and Philippine law, they have the right to keep and hold on to their Philippine passports while working in Saudi Arabia.

The Philippine passport is considered to be the property of the Republic of the Philippines and only the bearer has the right to keep it in his custody.

The Embassy firmly reminds companies and employers in Saudi Arabia who continue to keep their foreign workers’ passports, as a matter of practice and against the workers’ will, that they are violating Saudi law, specifically Council of Ministers Resolution No. 166 dated 12/04/1421H (14 July 2000) which clearly states that “every employee has the right to keep his passport in his custody.”

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated to the Embassy this week that this rule remains in effect and that any OFW whose passport has been kept by their employer has a right to complain to the Ministry of Labor or the police. (END) : Press Release No. PR-074-2015

OFW Political Empowerment 2016


OFW representation in Congress

The Philippine Election 2016 is fast approaching. It will be held on May next year and being at home, I can feel and smell the preparation of some politicians in the surrounding community that I belong. Even in TV ads, some Presidentiables are busy making their own “papogi points” to the public. Of course, it’s part of their strategy to win the public sentiment on national issues at hand.

Talking about OFW Political empowerment, the OFWs were able to get a seat in Congress through the OFW Family Party List group who made it in the last 2013 election. Truly, we are proud that OFWs are finally represented in Congress since 14 years when former Congressman Sid Aligada and  Omar Fajardo were appointed by former President Fidel Ramos to represent OFWs in the Philippine lower house of Congress.

But frankly, I can’t feel of any changes being made or introduced on the various issues of government policies that concerns our OFWs. I am not against Congressman Roy Seneres and in fairness, the good Congressman filed several bills in Congress since he assumed office yet none of them made it to the President’s desk. Surprisingly, I read an online article that he is eyeing for 2016 Presidential election. That, I have so much doubt that he can even reach number  10 in the list of the highest votes for the Presidency. Well, for me 750 thousand votes are not enough to change the course of history from Congress to Presidency. My sincere apology to the former Ambassador, that’s only my opinion and I am entitled to it. However, if the good former Ambassador will stick to where he is now and ask his colleagues in Congress to prioritize his bills, then Sir, you have my one vote again.

OFW Political Empowerment in barangay level

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Photo taken from the website of Barangay Info System-Davao

During the 2013 barangay election there were 53,786,223 registered Filipino voters according to COMELEC website It means out of 101 Million Philippine population (taken from  worldometers) half of our population are registered voters.

How many per cent of OFW family comprised a mere barangay?  According to my neighbour who works at the local office of the Philippine Statistics Authority, in one particular barangay in Cebu, OFWs is comprised of 5% of the barangay population. Each family of that 5% population has 4 to 5 family members who are registered voters. Good enough for an OFW (former OFW or OFW family members or relatives) who wants to run as a barangay councilman with a 2,500 votes for a barangay population that consist of 10,000 registered voters.

Perhaps, the continuing saga in our fight for OFW political empowerment must start in barangay level. So, by representing the concerns of OFWs in a barangay or in many barangays around the Philippine archipelago, then the national scene will follow.

According to the April to September 2014 statistical report by Grace Bersales of Philippine Statistics Authority, there was an estimated 2.3 million Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs/OFWs) or those with existing work contract comprised 96.0 per cent (2.2 million) of the total OFWs.  The rest (4.0% or 92,000) worked overseas without contract.

The total of 2,392,000 OFWs plus  five of their families back home can even move a mountain apart to put a President in Malacanang with a total of 11,960,000 votes; near enough to what President Aquino garnered in 2010 presidential election.

Well that’s only a simple presumption, nonetheless  Benjamin Banneker, an African American scientist once said “presumption should never make us neglect that which appears easy to us, nor despair make us lose courage at the sight of difficulties.”

That’s the reason why I am advocating Overseas Absentee Voting registration and requesting those  975,263 Overseas Absentee Voters worldwide to update your voting status, especially to those 237,504 registered voters who failed to vote in the previous Philippine national election.

To my fellow OFWs, talk to your families back home, ask them to participate in the October 2016 barangay election and through them, we can now empower by representing our OFW sector in the barangay level.BongA    

DTI warns OFWs to deal with Accredited and Legitimate Cargo Freight Forwarders


Department_of_Trade_and_Industry_(Philippines)_(emblem)

(13 May 2015) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) warns Overseas Filipino workers who will send their balikbayan boxes and their consignees in the Philippines should book their packages only with reliable and Philippine Shippers Bureau or DTI-PSB accredited freight forwarders and Philippine agents to ensure that their packages will reach their destinations.

DTI also warned cargo senders from abroad against very low door-to-door rates  or “promo rates” that some foreign principals offer. “With low rates, they [foreign principals] do not have enough funds to bear the cost of transporting cargoes, and they fail to remit delivery funds to their Philippine freight forwarders, causing the shipments to be  abandoned at the ports and not being delivered to consignees.

For consignees in the Philippines who have not received their packages from freight forwarders, they may contact DTI (02-751-3330) or go to PSB office to file an immediate claim or complaint.”

OFWs around the globe are advised to check or visit this link:  http://www.dti.gov.ph/dti/index.php/resources/listings  from time to time and see the  list of Blacklisted  Sea Freight Cargo Forwarders around the globe.

OFWs in Saudi Arabia are advised  NOT TO DEAL   with any  Seafreight Cargo Forwarders  other than the list of DTI accredited freight forwarders listed below.

Again, the list below are updated list (March 06, 2015) from DTI list of Accredited Cargo Freight Forwarders in Saudi Arabia. – BongA

DTI-PSB  list of Accredited Cargo Freight Forwarders in Saudi Arabia

DTI-PSB list of Accredited Cargo Freight Forwarders in Saudi Arabia (save as the image or list to your PC and Print for clear copy) *** also take note the expiry date of their license to operate.

 

DFA confirmed the untimely demise of Philippine Ambassador Domingo D. Lucenario


The Department of Foreign Affairs website confirmed yesterday the untimely demise of Philippine Ambassador to Pakistan, H.E. Domingo D. Lucenario, Jr., when a Pakistani army helicopter crashed in Naltar Valley area of Gilgit on Friday

Ambassador Lucenario was a career ambassador who served the Philippine Government for over 35 years. During his term as Ambassador to Pakistan, relations between the Philippines and Pakistan have enjoyed a robust partnership in various areas of cooperation.

lucenarioAmbassador Lucenario was also the Philippines’ non-resident Ambassador to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The crashed happened during a diplomatic trip with members of 37 countries in total. The scheduled three day trip was mainly organised for tourism purposes and the inauguration of a ski chairlift, built in the breathtaking resort of Naltar, in northern Pakistan. The ambassadors were also expected to hold high-level meetings.

Ambassador Lucenario was one of the few career Filipino diplomats who had the rare distinction of having been awarded by the President of the Philippines with three (3) major Presidential Awards, namely: the Order of Sikatuna Award with the rank of Datu (Gold level) (2009), the Order of Lakandula Award with the rank of Grand Officer (Maringal na Pinuno) (2008), and the Gawad Mabini Award with the rank of Grand Officer (Dakilang Kamanong) (2008).

Ms. Ellene Sana of the Center for Migrant Advocacy said “we first met in Hongkong when he was the Consul General. Mainit na isyu noon ang Owwa Omnibus Policies. We had impassioned debates over it in the dining table of OFW advocate Daphne Ceniza.”

During his tenure as  Consul General in Hongkong, the post registered the highest number of overseas voters,”  Ellene Sana added.

Ambassador Lucenario was also behind the 2007 efficient and friendly implementation of services in the DFA Passport division where he was then the Executive Director. In 2009, he became the DFA Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs where he succeeded the ePassport project of the DFA’s passport modernization program.

Among those killed in the crashed  include Norwegian Ambassador Leif Larsen and  the wives of Indonesia and Malaysia’s top diplomats in the Asian nation, and the two pilots, according to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

OFWempowerment conveys our heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to the bereaved family of the late Ambassador Domingo D. Lucenario, Jr.

The Heart of OFW Reintegration Program


The Heart of OFW Reintegration Program 

The comprehensive reintegration program of our government for returning OFWs is there  since in the 90’s.  But up to present many OFW returnees fails to make the program right. Perhaps because the OFW is not yet ready to reintegrate in our country for a very simple reason, we are already a stranger in our homeland after long years working in a foreign land; and or perhaps the business venture we are in is not the one that dictates our heart; and our governments’ way of implementing it through all these years. 

The study of reintegration program was conceived  as early in 1980’s and was first organized in 1988 by Asian Migration Center, a regional NGO based in Hong Kong composed of mostly member ASEAN countries. 

There are two kinds of “OFW returnees”, those OFWs who troops down back home because of  war, natural calamities, as well as economic and political turmoil of the host country they’re in. The other OFW returnees are those who decide to go home for good and stay at home with their families for the rest of their lives. 

logoofw1Last year, the Philippine government through the Department of Labor and Employment created a new reintegration program called Assist WELL Program that will address the Welfare, Employment, Legal, and Livelihood needs of repatriated OFWs. This particular program caters the needs of those OFWs repatriated from war-torn countries. 

National Reintegration Program Fund (NRPF) launched in 2011 are those for returning OFWs who wish to stay at home after a long period of working abroad and or those who finished their contracts and decides not to go back working away from home. This program provides with a livelihood loan of between P300,000 to P2 million to set up their own business with low-interest loans. However, the OWWA and the bank(s) lengthy requirements and the long tedious process makes’ it hard for a returning  OFW to avail the program. 

The Land Bank of the Philippines and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration forged a partnership for the implementation of this high-profile and probably the biggest reintegration program of the government since Kabuhayan-2000 Program for OFWs in 1998. 

Those above mentioned programs achieved a modest outcome for both  two kinds of OFW returnees, it is suggested that changes should be made in all of its guidelines and requirements to avail the lending facility much easier. Perhaps, there is also a need to trim down those government agencies involved that are not anymore necessary in the implementation of the program. In this way, the efforts of the many previous administrations to help OFWs reintegrate in our homeland be fulfilled. 

On the other side of the mirror, the heart of OFW reintegration program of  our government  lies within us,  we need to choose the right business with an  innermost desire of doing it, armed with passion and coming from our heart.   

To my fellow OFW returnees, re-joining our families back home and reintegrating into the mainstream of our Philippine society is a very crucial plan and we, OFWs should have to think twice before disembarking a new era of endeavour back home.  Many OFWs like me are unfamiliar in our country’s business scenes while working away from home. WE should determine the exact and suitable entrepreneurship venture that we love most or experienced in line with our previous or at present employment abroad. Lastly, WE  should be aware of the financial burdens of taxation that awaits us in the future. BongA

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