Our Condolences to the family of Rep. Roy Seneres


imagesOFW Empowerent blog and the Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) mourns the death of former Philippine Ambassador and incumbent Congressman Roy Seneres.

Señeres, 68, died of cardiac arrest triggered by complications brought about by his long bout with diabetes on February 8, 2016.

He was the former Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 1994-1998. He chaired the National Labor Relations Commission of the Department of Labor and Employment from 2002 to 2005. During the 2013 elections, he won a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives as a representative of the OFW Family  party-list.

Petition: Create a Department of Migration and Development


Please sign our Petition

There are an estimated 10 million Filipinos working and living abroad, almost half of them are women. In 2014, they remitted a total amount of US$ 26.3 billion which accounted for approximately 8.5% of GDP in 2014. Remittances are not only lifeline of millions of families left behind but also propel the economy of the country.

BhIurMyzemoqHup-800x450-noPadIn spite of this huge remittance flows, a large number of Filipino migrant workers return to their country without being able to adequately prepare for their reintegration.

Migrant workers particularly women are more prone to various forms of abuses at home and in the host countries. There is dismal government record in protecting and promoting the rights of migrants. Responses from various Philippine agencies engaged in migration remained incoherent and fragmentary because there is no single agency that is coordinating all migration-related issues and takes full responsibility on how to help migrant workers and their families. The social cost of migration is enormous that no amount of remittances can compensate this loss.

We believe that managing migration is not enough and that the development component is crucial to ensuring a sustainable policy; i.e., by harnessing the potential of migration and migrants’ remittances for development, particularly in the countryside.

We recently learned the existence of a house bill that proposes the creation of a “Department for Overseas Workers” to manage the deployment and reintegration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs): 16th Congress, 1st Regular Session, House Bill No. 191, introduced by Rep. Rosemarie J. Arenas, dated 1 July 2013.

We call for the passage of this HB 191 but to be renamed as the creation of a “Department of Migration and Development.” This department will not only manage Philippine migration but also enhance its potential for sustainable development.
As a cabinet-level department, we envision a Department of Migration and Development that exclusively focuses on the welfare of the OFWs, streamlines all services of sub-agencies serving overseas Filipinos, and institutionalizes the fiscal autonomy of the OFW trust fund (currently under OWWA).

  • We call our government, candidates for 2016 election policy makers to heed our call.
  • We call for an open and transparent process in the selection of overseas Filipinos who will be consulted in the re-drafting of this House Bill.
  • We call on all overseas Filipinos to support this cause to ensure that their interests and of their families and loved ones back home will be duly represented.

Click here >>>>>> to sign the Petition

OVERSEAS FILIPINOS WORLDWIDE

POEA chief to presidential bets: Help OFWs innovate


12.10.2015: MANILA, PhilippinesPhilippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Leo Cacdac advised presidential candidates to put on their agenda innovations in existing electronic systems for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“Off the top of my head, [they should include in their platforms the] further enhancement of electronic systems so it’s easier for OFWs to update their registration profiles. It’s easier for government agencies to keep track who are the documented OFWs, as to who are licensed recruiters, who are the illegal recruiters,” Cacdac told Rappler in an interview on Wednesday, December 9.

Various electronic programs are already in place that aim not only to ease registration processes for OFWs but to protect them from illegal recruitment as well.

poeamnpowerThe POEA has an online portal where Filipinos seeking employment overseas may register through the POEA’s Government Placement Branch. Licensed recruiters are likewise required to register online. (READ: POEA to recruiters: Use ‘electronic systems’ in hiring OFWs)

In partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment, the POEA also implements a program called Balik Manggagawa Online Processing System, which allows vacationing OFWs who are rehired by their employers to secure an overseas employment certificate digitally.

Licensed recruiters are also required by the Philippine government to have an official Facebook page to serve as a communication platform for deployed house service workers, to prevent disputes, to endorse complaints, and to submit reports to the POEA. (PODCAST: Ethical recruitment of OFWs)

“We still could do so much more in terms of improved access, meaning how to get into the system, overcoming certain glitches with respect to certain cases where some OFWs get disconnected as soon as they are connected, uploading of photographs, facilitation of the electronic payment facility, small things like that,” said Cacdac. (READ: ‘Slow’ gov’t process makes OFWs fall for illegal recruiters)

The POEA chief also said the presidential candidates should make OFW concerns an election issue.

“I think OFW concerns matter to not just the OFWs themselves but [for] many Filipino families. Their welfare and protection is utmost,” Cacdac said.

POEA records show that in 2014, there were 1,832,668 OFWs – 1,430,842 land-based and 401,826 sea-based.

‘Push the OFW agenda’

For the POEA chief, OFWs would need the next president to have a “strong stance” in the protection of the rights of migrant workers as well as the facilitation of ethical recruitment.  to read more>>>>

APEC member countries hosting Filipinos : Welcome to the Philippines!


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA)

Delegate: US President Barack Obama

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF FILIPINOS = 3,535,676

CANADA

Delegate: Canadian Prime Minister  Justin Trudeau

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF FILIPINOS = 721,578

NEW ZEALAND

Delegate:  New Zealand Prime Minister  John Key

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF FILIPINOS = 39,091

OTHER COUNTRIES

Source: Wiki, Philippine Embassy websites, Rappler.com, Youtube

Sources: Wiki, Philippine Embassy websites, Rappler.com, Youtube, Inquirer.net and others.

SR2,000 fine for keeping workers’ passports: Ministry


JEDDAH — An employer who keeps the passports of his employees will be fined SR2,000 and the one who does not provide a copy of the contract to workers will be fined SR5,000, according to the new regulations of the Ministry of Labor.

A fine of up to SR15,000 will be imposed on an employer who forces his workers to do jobs not specified in the contract or if he asks workers to bear those expenses which he is liable to pay.

Fines will also be imposed on companies if they delay the payment of salaries, force employees to work extra hours without overtime payment, or force them to work during official weekends and holidays.

Fines-640x525

Violations also include forcing workers to work in the heat or in bad weather conditions without proper precautions.

Fines will be imposed on employers who deprive workers form getting recommendation letters or if a company does not provide training to at least 12% of its Saudi employees, according to the regulations.

Companies will be fined up to SR25,000 if they falsely claim the employment of Saudis or if they employ expatiates in jobs that are restricted to Saudis. Such companies will also be closed for five days.

Selling visas to expatriates results in a fine of SR50,000. Employing an expatriate without a license results in a fine of SR45,000.

Companies employing men on jobs marked for women will be fined SR10,000 for each male employee and will be closed for one day. Other fines are also specified for employing women in mixed areas and forcing them to work during banned working hours. Fines for such violations range between SR10,000 and SR5,000.

The ministry specified a fine of up to SR25,000 for companies violating safety and health standards. This also includes employing minors. The ministry also specified fines ranging between SR10,000 and SR20,000 on recruitment offices if they do not get license from the ministry before any recruitment process or if they do not register the services they provide on the system of the ministry.

Businesses owners will be fined SR25,000 if they provide false information to the Ministry of Labor and SR10,000 if they create problems in the work of the ministry’s investigation officers.

Fines for each violation will be doubled in case it is committed again.  A company is required to pay the fine within one month otherwise it will be considered a repetition of the violation.

Companies can appeal within 60 days after the violation has been registered.

Fatima Muhammad
Saudi Gazette

Related News Item:

A maximum SR100,000 fine for new labor law violation 

Approved amendments to KSA Labour Law

Work Demonstrations for any reason are prohibited in KSA


PUBLIC REMINDED THAT GATHERINGS AND WORK DEMONSTRATIONS FOR ANY REASON ARE PROHIBITED IN SAUDI ARABIA

ann(RIYADH, 4 October 2015) – The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reminds the public that the Saudi government prohibits gatherings and / or work demonstrations for any reason. All demands for benefits and rights should be coursed through official channels.

For concerns on the following, please contact the Embassy or the Philippine Labor Office at:

Assistance to Nationals Section (Police Cases, Detention, Remains, and other non-labor cases)

482-4354, 480-1918
rype@riyadhpe.com

Labor Attaché RIYADH (Welfare Cases related to Employment, Recruitment and Hiring Filipinos, and other matters related to employment or welfare and concerns with companies and employers including unpaid salaries, delays in salary, issuance of iqama by employer, etc)

FAX (+96611) 483-2204 Tel 483-2201 to 3

polo_riyadh@philembassy-riyadh.org

polo-riyadh@riyadhpe.com

Labor Attaché Eastern

TEL (013) 894-1846, 894-2890

Mobile: 0501269742

polo-eastern@riyadhpe.com

polo_eastern@philembassy-riyadh.org

The Embassy is open from Sunday through Thursday, 8AM to 5PM

Diplomatic Quarter, Ummayah Abu As-Salat Street

P.O. 94366, Riyadh 11693

Fax (96611) 488-3945

TEL 482-3559 , 482-0507, 482-1577

rype@riyadhpe.com

Website: http://riyadhpe.dfa.gov.ph
(END)

Go online… Don’t Fall in Line…


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Starting November 2, 2015, counter transaction at Balik-Manggagawa Processing Center at POEA Ortigas is by appointment only.

Maari din po kayong kumuha ng OEC sa ibang POEA Offices sa probinsiya:

POEA Regional Center for Luzon
3rd – 4th Floor, Shania Building, Quezon Avenue
City of San Fernando, La Union
poea_rcl@yahoo.com.ph

POEA Satellite Office. Region II
13 Dalan na Pagayayya
Regional Government Center
Tuguegarao City
poea_so2@yahoo.com

POEA Regional Ext. Unit-CAR
Benitez Court Compound
Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City
(074) 442-9478
(074) 445-4209 (telefax)
poea_reu_car@yahoo.com

POEA Satellite Office – Region III
SM City Pampanga
Bgy. San Jose, Gapan- Olongapo Road corner NLEX, San Fernando City Pampanga
poea_region3@yahoo.com

POEA Satellite Office – Region IV
Unit D. Ground Floor, Milan Prestige Building
National Highway, Brgy. Halang Calamba City
(049) 502-2798 (telefax)
poea_calamba@yahoo.com, poea.calamba@gmail.com

POEA Satellite Office No. V
Ground Floor, Unit 102-103, ANST Bldg. Washington Drive
Legaspi City
(052) 480-0144
poealegaspi@yahoo.com

POEA Regional Center for Visayas
Ground Flr. DOLE Building (old Insular Building)
corner General Maxilom Ave and Gorordo Ave
Cebu City
(032) 231-1016, (032) 231-1007, (032) 231-1003
poea7_cebu@yahoo.com

POEA Regional Ext. Unit – Region VI
3rd Floor, Robinson’s Place – Iloilo
Ledesma corner Mabini Streets, Iloilo City
(033) 336-8611, (033) 335-1058
poea.iloilo@yahoo.com

POEA Satellite Office
2nd Floor, Old City Hall
Araneta-Luzuriaga St.
Bacolod City
(034) 434-7391 (telefax)
bacolod_poea@yahoo.com.ph

POEA Satellite Office
DOLE Compound, Trece Martirez
Tacloban City
(053) 321-7134 (telefax)
(053) 520-8350
poea_tacloban08@yahoo.com

POEA Regional Center for Mindanao
2nd Flr., AMYA II Bldg.
Quimpo Blvd. cor. Tulip Drive
Ecoland, Davao City
(082) 297-7429 (telefax)
(082) 297-7428, (082) 297-7650
poearcm@yahoo.com.ph

POEA Regional Ext. Unit – Region IX
2nd Floor, Goodwill Center
Mator Jaldon St., Canelar, Zamboanga City
(062) 992-5523
poea_zam@yahoo.com.ph

POEA Regional Ext. Unit – Region X
Ground Floor Trinidad Bldg.
Corrales Ave., Cagayan de Oro City
(08822) 724-824 (telefax)
(08822) 729-465
poea_reu10@yahoo.com.sg

POEA Satellite Office XII
Ground Floor, Nearby Executive Suites
Zulueta St., Koronadal City
(083) 520-9991 Telefax
poeakoronadal@yahoo.com.ph

Satellite Office- CARAGA
Door 2, Nimfa Tiu Bldg 7 JP Rosales Avenue
Butuan City
(085) 815-1708
poeacaraga@gmail.com

POEA Satellite Office – Tawi-Tawi
Initiative for Tawi Tawi Area Devt. Foundation Bldg.
Old Housing Proj., Tubig Boh
Bongao, Tawi Tawi
0906-3416142
amerhassandoro@yahoo.com

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

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 

******************************

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)

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