POEA MC # 7 Series of 2003

POEA Memorandum Circular # 7 Series of 2003

Dear OFWs in Dubai,

Ito po ay patungkol sa inyong kahilingan na malaman ang mga dapat na bayaran kapag ang isang OFW  ay name hire o direct hire na walang representing agency ang employer sa Pilipinas.

Nakasaad po sa ibaba ang mga kaukulang bayarin ng isang manggagawa.

Contract Processing:

  1. Placement Fee  = equivalent to one month salary ( for agency hires)
  2. POEA Processing Fee

                  Agency Hire               = P200.00

                  Direct Hire                  = $100.00

                  Balik-Manggagawa = P100.00

                  OWWA Membership Fee          = $25

                  PhilHealth Membership Fee = P900.00

Kung tungkol naman po sa mga manggagawa na umalis gamit ang visit visa at bumalik ng bansa na nagbayad ng P2,000 mahigit samantalang ang iba naman ay P6, 000.00 na pataas.

Tiyak na naipakita po ng mga manggagawang ito ang kanilang proof of employment in Dubai, valid passport and re-entry visa na siyang requirement sa processing ng workers-on-leave o balik manggagawa.  Samantalang ang iba naman ay walang ipinakita kungdi ang kanilang employment contract na verified ng ating POLO sa Dubai.  Sa ganito pong kaso, sila ay tiyak na sa Direct Hire Unit ng POEA kukuha ng OEC o travel exit pass.

FROM: POEA INFO

Also please read online news. Click this link:  Workers who visit home but failed to obtain OEC are being asked for employment letter

Wish Him Well!

I wish Him Well

As of today, the Philippine government or PNoy himself has not yet decided who among the list of  ambassadorial nominees will be given the portfolio to head the Philippine mission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

As a blogger and an active member of the Filipino Community in the Kingdom I am concern about who would be our new Ambassador in the Kingdom and Yemen. We all knew that Yemen is now lurches into political unrest and violence day by day.  Yemen is a border away from Saudi Arabia.

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about some points to consider that will be taken in revisiting the purpose of the mission in assessing the expertise, experiences, knowledge, education, and commitments  of the nominees based on the nominees career tracks. Yes of course, the Executive branch especially the President has the prerogative to appoint who among he believe capable of the job, it may be a party mate, a classmate,  a best friend, a long lost friend, a relative, a cousin outside from the rank of foreign service and perhaps one of his sisters. But surely the President have a good decision on who will be the next caretaker of our OFWs in the Kingdom based on his sound judgment by appointing a former Ambassador as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is now in the hands of the Legislative Branch to confirm the appointment of DFA Secretary Alberto Del Rosario.

Congen Ezz Tago with Royal Highness Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In the absence of a permanent  COM – Chief of Mission in the Kingdom, Consul General Ezzedin Tago was assigned as Charge D’ Affaires of the Philippine Embassy not too long after the former Philippine Ambassador Antonio Villamor ended his tour of duty. 

Charge d’ Affaires Ezzedin H. Tago assumed as caretaker of our Philippine Embassy with primary difficult task, the issue of runaways and the usual OFW issues and concerns at work, like contract substitution, maltreatment and abuse. In his tenure as Consul General in Jeddah and Charge D’ Affaires of our Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, he is in-charge in the implementation for the repatriation of our Filipino overstayers in the Kingdom granted by the royal pardon issued by His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud of September last year. Not to mention his remarkable work in repatriating hundreds of absconders in Jeddah, yet he was still criticized by some quarters with regards on how he handled the repatriation of absconders and runaways in the western region. Consul General Ezzedin Tago explained that the Consulate is just following the host country’s Saudi Immigration Laws which has tedious deportation process.

It is a public knowledge that the current Philippine Embassy Charge D’ Affaires Ezzedin Tago would likely return and back to his job as Philippine Consul General in Jeddah when a permanent Ambassador is appointed. At this early stage, it is just proper to thank him for his service and I wish him well.

A new Chief of Mission

Well, the Philippine government has recognized the importance of the Overseas Filipino Workers in Saudi Arabia not only because we are 1.5 million in this country, but first and foremost the OFWs in this oil rich region are the second-largest source of remittances in our country. And because of the OFW issues and concerns and our remittances, the Government and the Philippine mission itself continue to overlook the other reason why there are Philippine Embassies in every country in the world. Sad to say, that they fail to notice the other areas of cooperation, the major task our Philippine mission should undertake that will benefit both countries in the field of  commerce, agriculture, engineering, science and technology, and even cultural exchange. All of the mentioned areas which we can achieve through collaborative means between the two countries are covered by the umbrella Memorandum of Agreement on Economic,  Trade, Investment and Technical Cooperation signed in 1994 by two countries represented by then DFA Secretary Roberto R. Romulo and His Royal Highness Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs.  But mainly, the Philippine government focuses only in the areas of manpower supply in exchange for dollar remittances. Of course, yes, both government and Filipino migrant workers as well, are grateful for that, but there must be more means of cooperation by which our relationship with other countries may anchor upon.

Philippine Consul General Ezzedin Tago with Filipino Community Leaders in Yemen discussing OFW contingengy plans.

We need someone that could lead the mission with a diplomatic expertise in Foreign Service that could promote friendly relations between the two nations as well as promoting our very own government foreign policies. A new Philippine Ambassador that can turn Saudi-PH relations into economically, politically,  and socio-culturally productive partnership.  A man with cultural and political understanding, a true liaison that can nurture the host country’s culture and political concerns in order to provide our own government with accurate assessments of any situations. And more importantly, a man with honor, a leader who is always there in time of needs and who is ultimately responsible for providing protection to OFWs in this country.

The current Philippine Consul General in Jeddah and presently designated as Charge D’ Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in the person of Ezzedin Tago is a career foreign service officer and just recently confirmed by the Commission on Appointments  to the rank of Career Minister.  He is a son of a former career diplomat from Lanao del Sur.  Consul General Ezzedin H. Tago assumed office in Jeddah on 22 December 2007 and has been with the Department of Foreign Affairs since 1995 holding office as Acting Director with the Office of Middle East and African Affairs (1996-1999).  

In 1988, he finished his secondary degree from the Philippine School in Jeddah  (formerly The International Philippine School in Jeddah). In September 1994, he graduated Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.  

DFA Secretary Alberto Del Rosario (center) during the meeting with FilCom in Yemen. (In the photo former Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia & Yemen, now DFA Undersecretary Rafael Seguis and Philippine Embassy CDA Ezz Tago.

In 1999, he was assigned in Riyadh as Vice Consul and Third Secretary that ended in 2003. He was then transferred to Jakarta, Indonesia as Consul and Second Secretary up to 2005.  He was also detailed to Baghdad, Iraq for 10 months in 2004-2005. He was posted back in Home Office, as Special Assistant to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for Special Concerns from 2005 to 2007. Consul General Ezzedin Tago speaks Arabic fluently.  

He is a recipient of the following awards/citations:  2007- The Order of Lakandula, Rank of Officer and, The Gawad Mabini, Rank of Commander.  Presidential Citation from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo awarded on 19 June 2005 for role in the cases of two Filipino hostages in Iraq, Messrs. Angelo Dela Cruz and Robert Tarongoy. In December 2006, he received a Presidential Citation also from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for assisting in the repatriation of Filipinos in Lebanon during the Israel-Hezbollah Crisis in July 2006.

Perhaps, Consul General and Minister Counselor, Philippine Embassy Charge  D’  Affaires Ezzedin Tago could be the right man for the job as  Chief of the Philippine Mission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yemen. – end (BongA)

A statement by the ministry of interior

To: Fellow Filipinos in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

 The Statement below from the Ministry of Interior in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that was posted in their website ( http://bit.ly/gbqCi8 ) is clearly an information and a reminder to the public especially to Saudi Nationals that laws in the Kingdom strictly prohibit all forms of demonstrations, marches and the like.

Therefore, the mentioned statement doesn’t constitute as an alarm to panic that there will be untoward incidents that will happen in the future.

Please be informed that the Saudi authorities are now very strict in implementing all necessary measures to assure that there will be no such illegal activities that will takes place in the coming days to come.

Therefore, fellow Filipinos should be very cautious and refrain from joining any crowd that the Saudi authorities might sense as a gathering intended for unlawful purposes.   

Further, fellow OFWs should refrain from sending, forwarding and disseminating information which likely cause fear and alarm to the Filipino community, knowing or having reason to believe that the statement, rumor or report can cause panic among Filipinos and other nationalities in the Kingdom.

Please be advised that the OFW Congress and other Filipino Community leaders in the Kingdom are closely in contact with our Philippine Embassy.

From: OFW Congress-Riyadh Executive Council  

     

WE Pray..

Our Prayer

There are rumors circulating around the Filipino community about the protest in the coming days. There will be or not, WE, Filipinos should be aware of our status in the Kingdom. As a visitor in this oil rich country, we must be careful of what we are doing in our daily lives, like roaming around the city, staying late at night in the streets and having fun in groups around malls and restaurants and other places where the local authorities might sense it as a gathering with purpose.

What we need to do is to pray that what is going on now in Libya will never be happen in this country. We loved this country like our home, a country that provides us job and golden opportunities. Though some of us are not lucky enough, but majority of us Filipinos in Saudi Arabia have managed to become successful in their lives  dahil sa “Katas ng Saudi”.  Many Filipinos consider that working in Saudi Arabia is a privileged.

Although most Saudis I mingled concur that “it is highly unlikely to happen in this country” where the government is very supportive to its people.  Like any other countries in the world, it is natural for the people to air their grievances and needed some reforms.  But it should be done in a proper forum.

To fellow Filipinos, Muslims and Christians, let us join our hands in prayer  that  if such action will takes place, we pray   that cooler heads will prevail  and the reprehensible action of the few will not result in equally reprehensible retaliatory acts of violence, in GOD Almighty, WE PRAY. Amen!

OFWC newly elected Execon affirms oath of office

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: The OFW Congress-Riyadh on its 12th years of existence as an advocacy group comprised of various Filipino Community organizations held its Induction Rites at Philippine Embassy in Riyadh last 24 of February 2011.

There was a sense of renewed vigor among the newly elected and appointed officers in their continuing quest advocating national policy and program to address pressing issues and concerns of OFWs in general.

OFW Congress-Riyadh was primarily formed to help ensure that the country’s new heroes dubbed by the Philippine government  will be well protected on their rights while working in a foreign land. The group objectives in particular is to  spearhead the drafting, lobbying, passage of motions, measures, resolutions and position papers on vital issues affecting the rights, welfare and economic well being of the OFW’s.

L-R: Philippine Embassy Consul General Ezz Tago, Alex Veloso Bello (partly hidden), Faisal Sarque, Ronie Huertas, Abdul Gafhar Dimalotang, Resty Sibug (back, partly hidden), Allan Macabangkit, Cesar Gervacio (back, partly hidden), Oscar Domingo, Dante Pangcoga, Boggs Bolor (back , partly hidden), Bioux Manilum, Bong Amora (back, hidden), Nilda Ballesteros, Faizal Mercurio (back, partly hidden), Alona Dela Cruz, Robert Ramos (back), Habib Batua.

The 2011-2013 OFWC 21 Executive Council members  affirmed their commitment to their office as they took their oath administered by Philippine Embassy Charge D’ Affaires, Minister Counselor and Consul General Ezzedin H. Tago. 

Re-elected OFWC President Alex Veloso Bello expressed his heartfelt and humble gratitude to every participating member organization on their pledged to their continued belief on the implementation of the objectives and programs of the group.  He prods the Executive Council member’s enthusiasm in supporting his leadership as he placed and expounded to the members during his brief address, “without your assistance, cooperation and group effort everything would be in vain.”

For the 2011-2013  EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS: President: Alex Veloso Bello, Executive Vice-President: Engr. Faisal Sarque of Filipino Retirees OFW Movement: VP – Strategic Planning & Good Governance, Abdul Ghafar Dimalotang (Philippine Muslim Overseas Workers Movement): VP – Economic Affairs, Engr. Allan Macabangkit (Shakba International Association): VP – Welfare, Oscar Domingo (Order of the Knights of Rizal): VP – Political Affairs, Dante Pangcoga (Integrated Mindanao Economic Forum): Secretary General, Manuel Amora (Kalipunang Kaakabay ng Mangagawang Pilipino sa Saudi Arabia): Comptroller General, Engr. Bioux Manilum (BISAYA). 

The Director General’s are the following:  Legal Affairs, Engr. Robert Ramos (Samahan ng Mangagawang Pilipino-SAMAFIL): Health, Dr. Lito Astillero (order of the Knights of Rizal): Education, Ronnie Huertas: Elite International School: Emergency Assistance, Mario Ben (KGS-Migrante), Community Relations, Engr. Resty Sibug (Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers-PSME): External Relations, Cesar Gervacio (Royal Guardians International): Women, Ma. Nilda Ballesteros and Alona Dela Cruz (Philippine Nurses Association): Islamic Affairs, Habib Batua (Federation of Maranao Associations in Saudi): Government Relations, Engr. Boggs Bolor (Guardians-GMGI): Sports, Faizal Mercurio (Black Python Martial Arts Inc.): Entertainment & Social Affairs, Celso M. Ditalo (CSM.Com Cooperative): Culture and Arts, Ruperto Civil (Artist League for Culture & Arts) and Youth, Jim Rosacena (Safari).  

L-R cont... Habib Batua, Dr. Lito Astillero (back, partly hidden) and Mario Ben. (Not in photo or hidden, Rupert Civil, Celso Ditalo & Jim Rosacena)

Consul General Ezzedin Tago, in his short remarks expressed his gratitude to OFWC in their continued commitment to serve the OFWs and very optimistic that OFWC and the Embassy can work together as partner in pursuing their plans and programs for the betterment of OFWs in general at site and at home.

Philippine Embassy Charge D’ Affaires, Minister Counselor and Consul General Ezzedin H. Tago administered the OFWC oath of office.

OFWC during the induction ceremony presented to Consul General Ezzedin Tago the group resolution OFWC011-001 Series of 2011 dated February 24, 2011 addressed to His Excellency Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, III, President of the Republic of the Philippines and Vice President and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns Jejomar C. Binay.

The nine-point recommendations for President Benigno Aquino’s considerations includes the following; a) appointment of two personalities coming from the OFW rank in Saudi Arabia to sit in the POEA and OWWA Board respectively, 2) creation of a pension scheme for OFWs, 3) the government to acquire a more sophisticated device or equipment to detect drug couriers from using our country’s airports as gateway for drug traffickers, 4) to subsidize the operation of  an “OFW Community Schools” in Saudi Arabia 5) to re-examine the mandate and the role of Philippine agencies whose authority includes: acceptance and approval of Job Orders from countries where there are rampant contract substitution, maltreatment and abuse, 6) to support the pending bills in Congress for the creation of a medical facility or OFW Hospital named “Bagong Bayani Medical Center”, 7 ) to mitigate the negative impact of the continuing dollar decline on OFW remittances, 8 ) to facilitate the creation of a special body whose task is to craft up policies and comprehensive approach as well as concrete mechanisms for OFW Reintegration Program, and 9) for the President to act within his power to facilitate the release of OFWs still locked up in their cells despite of having been completed the jail terms imposed by the Saudi authorities. – End – (by MAA) 

Click here to read the full text of the OFWC 9 Point Recommendation>>>>>>>

Let’s unite for the sake of those OFWs in Libya

Rescue Effort

Expats in Libya (Evacuees)

What I’ve heard is that there will be an onward flights arranged by our Phil. government for those OFWs crossing the Libyan border to Egypt or Tunisia, as well as those arriving by boat in Malta or Crete. I am not really sure that this arrangement are being implemented at this very moment but for sure our government will do the best what they can do for the safety of those OFWs affected by the worsening situation in Libya. Let’s us hope and pray that those government agencies given the task on this purpose will exert more effort para naman maibsan ang worries ng ating mga kababayan doon at sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay na naghihintay sa Pilipinas. Though, practically, we should admit that during wars and this kind of events, we cannot do the rescue effort in just a blink of an eye, our prayers are needed than blaming each other’s shortcomings.

WE, Filipinos especially those people in the world of dirty politics-pinoy style, “matagal pa po ang eleksyon”, you should stop throwing each others mud and instead pray hard at kumilos kung may magagawa para sa kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan sa Libya.

At sa mga media or pahayagan na ang isinusulat ay puro kapalpakan ng gobyerno,  akala nyo magaling kayong Pilipino, tingnan nyo muna ang inyong sarili kung nakapasa ba kayo sa tinatawag na journalism code of ethics and standardsWala ba kayong nakikitang magandang nagawa ang gobyerno?  Sa mga oposisyon, di ko kayo masisisi dahil kung hindi kayo mag papapel na oposisyon, or leftist, sigurado wala na kayo sa ere. At least man lang sana this time, let’s unite for the sake of those OFWs that needs our help.

VP Binay visit to KSA

Vice President Binay’s  visit to the Kingdom was postponed due to the request of the host government at hindi po kapalpakan ng ating Embahada at Department of Foreign Affairs, gaya ng sinasabi ng mga kritiko ng gobyerno.

Philippine VP & Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns Jojo Binay with Esteban Conejos, Office of Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs-DFA

As the 2nd highest official of the land, the Kingdom wants that VP Binay’s visit will be in an official capacity with highest respect of acceptance from  His Highness King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud. VP Binay wants his entourage to sidetrip Saudi Arabia via Kuwait.  Vice President Jojo Binay was invited by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of  Kuwait to witness its founding day celebration.

Here in Saudi Arabia, even an Ambassador who wants to visit a government facility needs an approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an standard operating procedure where the head of mission is a special and very important person. He will be fully guarded and honored.  Ang Bise Presidente pa kaya ng bansang Pilipinas?  The number two Philippine highest official in the land who represents  “1.5 million OFWs in the Kingdom.”  Ganyan ka-importante ng  Hari ng Saudi Arabia ang isang Head of State.

In an Official Visit to a State Capital, like Riyadh,  the Vice-President should be received by the Governor, a Minister, and at least a high ranking police officer. The Vice-President, will be given a special place to stay and a transport to the extent if necessary irrespective of the nature of the visit. If the Vice-President is making a transit halt either at the Kingdom’s Capital or any other place in the Kingdom, one executive and one police officer may be present to render such assistance as may be necessary. If the Vice President wants to visit a person or friend in private, a government executive and one police officer should be present on arrival and departure. In all of these secenarios, the Vice President or a head of state is fully guarded by crack police or military units.

As we all knew that the King of Saudi Arabia had just arrived from a medical trip, surely, the King is too busy during these days and of course  he wants to make sure that he will receive the second highest official of the Republic of the Philippines by himself.

Kaya mga borg, hindi po kapalpakan ng Embahada at ng DFA sa atin ang hindi pagtuloy ni Vice President Binay sa Riyadh, kundi dahil sa request ng host government. Kaya mga oposisiyon sa Kongreso tumahimik na kayo at magkapit-bisig, magtulongan para sa katahimikan at kaunlaran ng bansa. Pero at least nakikita namin kung sino talaga kayo!!!

Siyanga pala bago kayo magdakdak at magkunwaring pro-OFWs sa inyong mga adhikain bilang mambabatas, tumulong muna kayo at magpakitang gilas at personal mismo na tutulong –  para naman at least kaming mga OFWs bibilib po sa inyo. Pero kung sa kongreso lang kayo magdakdak at dakdak dito dakdak doon ang mga galamay ninyo para lang mabandera ang pangalan sa diyaryo at media – “HINDI PO GAGO ANG ISANG ORDINARYONG OFW.”

Edward Everet Hale says “Look up and not down. Look forward and not back. Look out and not in, and lend a hand.” (End) BongA