Embassy Warns Filipinos Against Drug Smuggling, etc.

***

(Riyadh, 20  October 2013) – The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh warns all Filipinos in the Kingdom against receiving packages or parcels from unknown or untrusted senders as they may contain illegal drugs.

stop-drugs-saudi-arabiaThe Embassy issues this warning following an increasing number of cases of Filipinos being arrested immediately after receiving packages or parcels suspected to contain illegal drugs. The Filipinos were immediately arrested by police after presenting their iqamas to collect packages suspected of containing illegal drugs from courier companies.

Filipinos in the Kingdom are advised NOT to provide their personal information to other persons, specifically the Saudi residence permit (iqama) and mobile numbers.

Filipinos are especially warned against accommodating requests from any individual who claim that his or her iqama is still being processed and needs the iqama number of the unsuspecting Filipino to receive a package coming from the Philippines.

A common practice among these nefarious individuals is to use social media, such as Facebook, to befriend the victim and later on request the latter to receive a package to be given to another person who is in the Kingdom.

The Embassy is coordinating with police and customs authorities in the Philippines to prevent this illegal activity.

Possession and use of illegal drugs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a serious criminal offense under Saudi law. The importation or smuggling into the Kingdom of illegal drugs or its precursors is a crime punishable by death. END

No. PR-183-2013: Embassy Warns Filipinos Against Drug Smuggling dtd. 19/10/2013

***

(Riyadh, 20 October 2013) The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh strongly urges all Filipinos, particularly those working and residing in Al-Khobar, not to seek the “services” of unscrupulous groups to obtain fake Philippine and Saudi documents, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates and iqamas, and should not seek their “assistance” – in whatever form.

On the basis of sworn affidavits by several Filipinos in the Eastern Region, the public is informed of the complaints against the activities of Ms. Aiza Monares and Mr. Albert Guanzon, formerly associated with Bantay Kassangga.

The public may recall an earlier advisory of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) – issued on 20 July 2009 by the former Labor Attaché David Des Dicang regarding the questionable activities of Mr. Guanzon.

The Embassy stresses to all Filipinos the need to observe and obey the rules and regulations of both the Philippines and Saudi Arabia, and to avoid situations that necessitate them to obtain forged or fake documents.

The Embassy also stresses that it denounces any individual or group who may be involved, wholly or partly, in procuring, manufacturing, providing, facilitating or distributing fake and forged documents of any kind, whether for a fee or for free.

The Embassy encourages any Filipino to report similar matters to the Embassy through: 482-4354, 480-1918 or rype@riyadhpe.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.// . (END)

No. PR-184-2013: Filipinos Reminded Not to Seek Fake Documents and Assistance from Mr. Albert Guanzon and Associates  dtd. 19/10/2013

Advisory against dealing with unscrupulous, unauthorized firms and individual’s

***

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh warned overseas Filipino workers in the Kingdom not to deal with any person or entities in exchange for promises of repatriation. The advisory was issued after  the Embassy received sworn complaints against certain individuals posing as Embassy or POLO staffs or employees. 

PR-190-2013%20ROBREDO

Sunny Robredo (a.k.a. Nasanciano Robredo)

(Riyadh, 23 October 2013) The public is advised to refrain and avoid transacting with a certain Sunny Robredo (a.k.a. Nasanciano Robredo).

Mr. Robredo misrepresented himself as a member of the Embassy staff and succeeded in swindling a fellow national of more than SAR 900.00.

The Embassy reiterates its reminder for the public to directly approach Embassy personnel regarding matters relating to consular and other relevant services. In addition, an official receipt issued by the Embassy even during outreach services covers all transactions and fees for services. The schedule of fees for consular services is posted on the Embassy’s website or if you want to know whom to deal with please  click here>>> EMBASSY OFFICIALS AS OF 30 SEPTEMBER 2013.  To those OFWs who wants to seek advise with our POLO in relation to Labor complaints, click this link >>> POLO Personnel (as of 30 September 2013) ; or you may approach directly our energetic, affable and friendly Welfare Officer in Riyadh in the person of MR. ROMEO PABLO, who is also the concurrent Officer-in-Charge of POLO-Riyadh & POLO-CRO.

The Embassy would also like to encourage the public to report cases of swindling or “fixing” that may come to your attention. You may reach the Embassy at tel: 482-4354, 480-1918 or email:   rype@riyadhpe.com .

Mr. Warren Villegas Soriano (Photo courtesy of Joseph Espiritu)

Mr. Warren Villegas Soriano (Photo courtesy of Joseph Espiritu)

Also a month ago, ccording to the sworn complaints, a group of Filipinos went to Riyadh International Airport based on promises made by MR. WARREN VILLEGAS SORIANO that they will be issued exit visas at the airport through an alleged high ranking official. The travel documents submitted by the group to Mr. Soriano were returned with exit visa reference codes. Mr. Soriano also indicated the seat numbers of the victims in the same Travel Document and claimed that they have each been booked flights to the Philippines. Each of the victims paid Mr. Soriano various amounts in facilitating the issuance of their exit visas.The advisory said Filipinos who have violated the Kingdom’s immigration and labor regulations and would like to obtain the issuance of exit visas  under the correction period may only be done through concerned Saudi authorities.

The Embassy strongly advises all Filipinos in Saudi Arabia against any dealings with MR. WARREN VILLEGAS SORIANO and any other individuals who promise to facilitate issuance of exit visas for any amount. The Embassy has not authorized any individual to facilitate issuance of exit visas in exchange for any payment.” the Embassy advisory reads.

The exit visa reference codes indicated on the Travel Documents purportedly facilitated by Mr. Soriano were verified to be SPURIOUS after the victims were denied by Saudi immigration authorities at the airport.

The Embassy in their previous advisories also reminded Filipinos in the Kingdom not to deal Pag-IBIG and SSS related transactions to  certain Mr. Richard Pagaduan Bernabe, as it illegal and any payment made to him will not be recognized by Pag-IBIG Fund and SSS.For information, call the following Pag-IBIG Fund numbers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: 0537980452 (Riyadh) 053117706 (Al-Khobar) and 0564947732 (Jeddah). For Social Security System or SSS; you may call or text to 0500972728(Danny-Riyadh), 0531215972(Jerry-Riyadh), 0531242183 (Roue-Al-Khobar), 0558903597(John-Jeddah).

Last month, the Department of Trade and Industry  informed the public to regularly visit DTI’s website www.dti.gov.ph under the heading “Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation” and check from time to time the list of Freight Forwarding Companies not Accredited with Philippine Shipper’s Bureau; list of Philippine Agents/Freight Forwarders whose Formal Charges have been issued Decisions and list of Freight Forwarders whose complaints have been endorsed to the DOJ/Office of the City Prosecutor for criminal investigation as of August 30, 2013.  In this manner OFWs will be apprised and aware of the up to date information to avoid inconvenience when dealing with cargo forwarding companies. – BongA

KACST hold Grand Technology Parks conference

***

18/09/2013, RIYADHKing Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology-KACST,  both the Saudi Arabian national science agency and national laboratories whose function involve science and technology policy making in the Kingdom will hold today, 18 September 2013 a conference that will advance the development of science parks & technology incubators in the country.

GTPThe event called “Grand Technology Parks” key drivers to knowledge-based economy and society will be attended by various stakeholders and speakers like; Dr. Irwin Jacobs from Qualcolm, USA, Dr. Hermann Hauser of ARM Holding and Amadeus Capital of U.K., Prof. Timothy Tong President of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Mr. Falk Strascheg founder of  Strascheg Center of Entrepreneurship in Germany and Myla Villanueva of Venture Capital and Wireless Wings from Philippines.

Science and Technology Parks offer a number of shared resources, such as incubators, programs and collaboratiove activities where innovation is key. It is a physical place that supports university-industry and government collaboration with the intent of creating high technology economic development and advancing knowledge.

 The speaker from Philippines, Myla Crespo-Villanueva is a technology entrepreneur and the 1st Filipino to win the Ernst and Young Woman Entrepreneur Award 2003″.  EY is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It was the third largest professional services firm in the world by aggregated revenue in 2012 and is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. 

Myla Villanueva  has founded five start-ups and corporations in Asia over the past 25 years, and is a leader in the Philippine IT industry. She is Chairman of the MDI Group, a pioneer and leading systems Integrator and partner of IBM, Dell, Apple, Cisco, Juniper, SaleForce.com and Blackberry in the Philippines.

Speakers from the Kingdom are  Dr. Anas Alfaris, the Director of the Joint Centers of Excellence Program (JCEP) of KACST and hold the position as Co-Director of Center of Complex Engineering Systems (CCES) at KACSTAhmad Al-Yamani, the Chief Operating Officer at TAQNIA and Vice Secretary General for Sustainable Development and Authority Affairs. He also served as the Chief Technology Officer of SAGIA; and Nawaf A. Al-Sahhaf, the CEO of BADIR Program for Technology Incubation, also of KACST.  

The delegation of successful entrepreneurs and innovators will also visit Taif University the next day 19 September 2013 to meet students and faculty staff of the university and local officials.

Exclusive report By:   M. Amora (DIC-KACST)

Overstaying Filipinos Should Proceed NOW to Jawazat

 *** 

(Riyadh, September 2013) – The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh renews its call to all overstaying Filipinos in the Kingdom to proceed NOW to the Deportation Office and avail of the facilities under correction period before the 03 November 2013 deadline.

Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ezzedin H. Tago, today renewed the Embassy’s call to all Filipinos who have violated the Kingdom’s immigration and labor regulations to immediately proceed to the Deportation Office (Jawazat Wafideen) in Riyadh to avail of the facilities under the correction period before the deadline on 03 November 2013.

He advised all overstaying Filipinos in Riyadh to proceed now to the Deportation Office (Jawazat Wafideen) and avoid delays in the processing of their documentation by Deportation authorities especially before the E’id il Adha holidays from 11 to 20 October 2013.

The Embassy calls on all overstaying Filipinos in Riyadh to proceed NOW to the Deportation Office and avail of the facilities under the correction period before 03 November 2013 and avoid penalties and imprisonment,” said Ambassador Tago.

Ambassador Tago also noted that a total of 3,020 Filipinos have been repatriated through PHL government funds by the Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah since the start of the correction period. The Embassy and the Consulate General will continue to provide assistance for the repatriation of Filipinos during the correction period.

 For those in Riyadh, the schedule at Jawazat Wafideen are as follows:

For WOMEN

When  :    Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Where:     Women’s Section, Jawazat Wafideen
Times :     From 5:00 PM
Requirements   :   Original iqama; or  Original passport with entry visa or records; or  Those with fingerprint (basamat) record or printout  Valid Travel Document or passport

For MEN

When  :         Thursdays
Where:         Women’s Section, Jawazat Wafideen
Times :         From 5:00 PM
Requirements  :  Original iqama; or Original passport with entry visa or records; or  Those with fingerprint (basamat) record or printout  Valid Travel Document or passport

All Filipinos are also reminded of the following:

1) Proceed early at Wafideen. Nationals from other countries are also included in the designated schedule for Filipinos;

2) Ensure that there are no pending car registrations, bank loans, or unpaid traffic violation penalty or any other records under your name before proceeding to Wafideen. Those who have pending blotter or police records will also not be issued exit visas.

3) Ensure that all documents presented are authentic. Possession of fake documents may result in imprisonment.

For those in the Eastern Region, the Jawazat in Dammam accepts Filipino any day of the week.

For Filipinos who do not have (1) original iqamas; or (2) original passport with entry visa records; or (3) those whose fingerprints have not been registered in the Immigration database or those who cannot secure a printout of their immigration records are advised to coordinate with the Embassy. Such cases will be brought by the Embassy to the attention of concerned Saudi authorities. END  ( No. PR-155-2013 )
Jawasat%20Map

Over 100 Filipino groups to hold key poll on Friday

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09/11/2013, QATAR:  More   than 100 Filipino groups recognised by the Philippine embassy in Doha   are expected to hold an election of officers of a newly-formed umbrella   organisation on September 13 (Friday).

In a circular e-mailed to  Gulf  Times recently, the embassy disclosed that United Filipino   Organisations in Qatar (UFOQ) will organise and spearhead major   activities for the Filipino community. It will plan and execute   programmes for the welfare of expatriates, including the annual   Philippine Independence Day celebration. It will also represent the   Filipino community at various official gatherings and events in the   country.

qrVice-consul Melvin Almonguera told Gulf Times that chairman,   secretary and treasurer made up the three elective positions for UFOQ.   The election will start at 2pm at the new chancery in the Jelaiah  area.

He  added that representatives who will attend the elections  are the only  persons eligible to be nominated and elected. Embassy  officials will  serve as the Commission on Elections.

Leaders of  various professional  organisations (such as accountant, architect, and  engineer groups) are  expected to vie for the three positions. 

Those  who have announced  their candidature include Jhin Tabuzo from the  United Architects of the  Philippines and Delfin Montenegro from the  Samahang Batangueno Qatar  (SBQ). Lyndon Magsino from the Philippine  Institute of Certified Public  Accountants was also mentioned by some  expatriates.

The organisations  that will participate on Friday  include the Philippine Institute of  Civil Engineers, Minsubasta,  Philippine Association of Safety Engineers,  United Pinoy Motor and  Motorcycle Group, and Foundation for Family and  Life Qatar Migrant  Workers. Dozens of sports, medical and artists’  groups as well as fraternities have confirmed their attendance.

It  is learnt that some aspirants have started seeking the endorsement of  other organisations while some groups have openly announced their  choice  by using Facebook since last week.

In the same circular, the embassy   reminded participants that an organisation may be represented by its   president or chairman or any designated representative with a written   authority signed by their  top officials.

In the meeting, the   chairman of the Philippine Independence Day Organising Committtee 2013   will also present his financial report regarding the event held on June   14. Almonguera had earlier said that there is also a need to streamline   the accredited groups. This, he stressed, will make information   dissemination easier and faster.

The vice-consul has expressed  optimism that the move will allow them, as well as community leaders, to   monitor and get updates from each group.  – GULF TIMES

DTI and AISL signs MOA to Address Abandoned or Undelivered Balikbayan Boxes

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Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) signs MOA to Address Abandoned or Undelivered Balikbayan Boxes

b567dae5cb7e9adbc0464bd4a5df766b_M(Riyadh, 29 August 2013) – On 10 July 2013, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) as an additional measure to address the problem of abandoned and/or undelivered balikbayan boxes. The signing of the agreement was in response to the numerous complaints that the DTI received from various overseas Filipinos worldwide and their relatives. The MOA’s objectives are: 

  1. To minimize, if not eliminate, the incidence of abandoned and undelivered balikbayan boxes resulting from failure of unscrupulous foreign consolidators to remit funds to their Philippine agents.
  2. To ensure that the Philippine agents, acting as consignees of consolidated balikbayan boxes, are DTI-accredited and reputable companies.
  3. On the part of the shipping lines, to minimize the incidence of shipping containers lying idle and unproductive for long periods of time at ports of destination.
  4. To contribute to reducing the level of congestion at Manila Harbor and Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) due to abandoned containers of balikbayan boxes. 

AISL is a non-stock and non-profit corporation which consists of 41 container shipping lines calling and visiting the Philippine ports and the recognized spokesman of international container shipping in the Philippines. Under the agreement, as part of the screening of incoming shipments, the DTI will furnish the AISL the list of accredited freight forwarding companies and the watchlist of delinquent foreign consolidators and their local counterparts as guide and ground for either accepting or denying bookings of balikbayan boxes. Shipments of foreign consolidators whose Philippine agents are not DTI-accredited may also be denied. 

DTI advises overseas Filipinos and their consignees in the Philippines not to do business with freight forwarding companies not accredited with DTI’s Philippine Shippers’ Bureau (PSB). 

The implementation of the signed MOA will take effect immediately. 

For an up-to-date list of accredited sea freight forwarders, one may visit the DTI website www.dti.gov.ph or call DTI’s direct telephone number (+963.2) 7513330. 

Any complaints on undelivered, pilfered, damaged or loss of balikbayan boxes should be submitted through an affidavit to DTI-PSB through fax (+963.2) 7513305 or email at  dti_psb@yahoo.com.ph . Complainants may also call (+963.2) 7513330. (END)   Philippine Embassy in Riyadh / Press Release No. No. PR-151-2013

***

PHILIPPINE SHIPPERS’ BUREAU
Registration and Accreditation Division
List of Registered/Accredited Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) and Int’l. Freight Forwarders (IFFs)
as of 30 August 2013

click to see the list here>>>>>>>  

PHILIPPINE SHIPPERS’ BUREAU
Registration and Accreditation Division
List of Companies with Domestic Freight Forwarder Accreditation
as of 30 August 2013

click to see the list here>>>>>>   

Freight Forwarding Companies not Accredited with Philippine Shipper’s Bureau

click to see the list here>>>>> 

List of Philippine Agents/Freight Forwarders whose Formal Charges have been issued Decisions as of August 30, 2013

click to see the list here>>>>> 

List of Freight Forwarders whose complaints have been endorsed to the DOJ/Office of the City Prosecutor for criminal investigation as of August 30, 2013

click to see the list here>>>>>  

List of Foreign Principals/Consolidators under investigation as of August 30, 2013

click to see the list here>>>>>  

Know your insurance rights, GOSI tells expats

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RIYADH – The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) launched on Sunday an awareness campaign enlightening foreigners about their insurance rights against vocational hazards.

GOSI Governor Solaiman Al-Quwaiz told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the campaign was within the continued efforts to spread social insurance awareness especially among non-Saudi subscribers.

Click Image: "Legal expat workers eligible for GOSI"

Click Image: “Legal expat workers eligible for GOSI”

In addition to newspapers, TV channels, publications, billboards and electronic sites, there will be special teams from the organization visiting foreigners at their work places to enlighten them about the insurance rights, Al-Quwaiz said.
He said the campaign will be in four languages: Arabic, English, Hindi and Urdu.There are more than 6.3 million foreigners registered with GOSI.GOSI implements social insurance rules, collects contributions from employers and pays benefits to entitled insured persons and their family members.

Calculations for GOSI are based on earning of an employee (Basic Salary + Housing Allowance) of a particular Organization. Calculations are divided into 3 categories: GOSI for Saudi citizens, GOSI for GCC (Gulf Corporation Council) nationals, and GOSI for non-Saudis.

Under a new scheme introduced recently by the Ministry of Labor, expatriate workers become beneficiaries of GOSI.
The date on which a non-Saudi worker arrives in the Kingdom or the date on which his service is transferred to another employer will be considered the date of his registration with the professional hazards division of GOSI.

In the event that the non-Saudi contributor sustains a work injury, he will be compensated with a lump sum amount. If the injury results in a permanent total disability the injured is entitled to a lump sum compensation of 84 months of the benefit value, which he was supposed to receive up to a maximum of SR330,000.

The calculation of the compensation takes into account the amount of the assistance of other allowances decided by the competent medical board. If the person’s injury results in partial disability, then the injured is entitled to a lump sum compensation equivalent to 10 years of the value of the assumed benefit up to a maximum of SR165,000.

If the injury results in the death of the contributor, his family members receive a lump sum compensation equivalent to 84 months. It is calculated on the basis of the benefit, which he was supposed to receive up to a maximum of SR330,000. It is equally distributed among the family members.  SAUDI Gazette 2/09/2013

ofwempowerment related link, read here>>>>>

This service lets you know whether you are registered in GOSI system or not. Click here>>>  and enter your iqama ID number.

Not anymore a question of morality

***

Ten thousand or more undocumented OFWs in the Kingdom are comprised of runaway workers  and almost half of them are women.  That includes undocumented mothers and children.   

fearsThe Philippine Embassy in Riyadh as of 21 August reported that 1,351 distressed OFWs from Riyadh and Eastern region and 881 in Jeddah as of 13 August have been repatriated during the correction period. Others are waiting for tickets that will be shouldered by the Philippine government. 

Many Filipino runaways without recourse enter into a forbidden relationship for support, shelter and companionship. To them, single or married back home, the reality is not anymore a moral question. The most important is to live and let the future tell its story. First and foremost the reason is, as undocumented workers with no marriage certificate, work permits and passport it would be very difficult for runaways to obtain legal documents for their child’s birth. The strict guidance of the country’s Shariah law, birth out of wedlock is immorality and  punishable with imprisonment before deportation.      

 I admit that were many times that this blogger wants to tell the untold stories about our fellow OFW runaway’s situation in Saudi Arabia. There was also a time that I attempted to write stories about how fellow OFWs obtained  fake marriage documents from our very own National Statistics office at home in order to roam around freely, raised children in Saudi Arabia out of wedlock. However, as a Filipino I am hesitant to do so thinking that I will be violating their private life and who I am to judge them anyway, “let who without sin, cast the first stone.

 That is why, I am asking to those undocumented mothers and children who are still out there to heed the call of the Saudi government amnesty program and go home for good.  A better future for your children lies ahead,  not here but at home.

First you must comply the procedure and other requirements, our Philippine mission in KSA will help you in the process. Though it will take time to process your documents due to DNA testing, This requirement for a genetic reconstruction is required to determine the biological relationship of a child to both parents.

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh announced today that the Second Batch of DNA Results for mothers and children are released. Our embassy informs all mothers with children who submitted themselves for processing and DNA testing who want to be repatriated that the DNA results of those with the DNA processing numbers have been released. 

Those with these numbers will be processed through Jawazat at Wafideen in Shumeisy starting next week on Sunday 25 August. The Embassy will call the concerned to inform them of their schedule at the Jawazat for fingerprinting and issuance of exit visa.

So, to all of you out there, this is once in a lifetime opportunity, this is not anymore a question of morality but a question of how to raise your children without fear of prosecution and punishment. Remember a quote that says, “Eve in the garden gives Adam a hard on and no one will pardon the snake look who invents him and later torments him, then makes us repent our mistakes.” -  BongA

How to recruit a household worker from the Philippines

LOGO%20EmbRIYADH, 08/08/2013: Under the recent agreement between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia signed on 18 May 2013, all recruitment of Filipino household workers (drivers, domestic helper, gardener, etc) should be through an accredited Saudi recruitment agency which should have a partner agency in the Philippines.

The Philippine Embassy and its labor section (POLO) verifies the contract which is also authenticated by the Embassy. This is a requirement before any worker leaves the Philippines.

The employer should therefore first seek an accredited Saudi recruitment agency.

For each worker, there should be an individual employment contract.

The agency shall submit to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh the following:

•Transmittal indicating the full name of the employer, visa number, name of the employee, and passport number of the employee.
•Individual employment contract with the following requirements
•the contract must be on the agency letterhead
•the contract must be typewritten in Arabic and English
•all pages must be signed by the employer, the Saudi agency, the Filipino employee, and the Philippine agency, and stamped by the Saudi agency.
•Original copy of the visa slip
•Copy of the worker’s passport
•One set of all the documents

POLO accepts a maximum of 10 contracts from each agency every day. POLO accepts contracts for verification at 8AM. Releasing of verified and authenticated contracts is on the following day at 4:30PM.

Embassy Urges Filipinos to Go to Jawazat for Exit

More than 700 get Exit Visa since 3 July, Over 700 Repatriated on GPH (Government of the Philippines) Expense

RIYADH, 28/07/2013: The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh urges all Filipinos in Riyadh and Eastern Region who will go on final exit and are qualified under the guidelines of the correction period, which has been extended to 3 November 2013, to secure their exit visa as soon as possible.

01

Amb. Ezzedin Tago & Labor Attache Adam Musa talk to Filipinos at Jawasat (Shumeisy)

The Embassy has also booked and purchased 652 tickets for distressed Filipinos in Riyadh, and 123 for those in the Eastern Region or a total of 775 as of 27 July, with around 150 passengers still being booked on flights before the end of this month.

“We think the process to get a final exit visa in Riyadh is simpler than before 3 July. A person who is qualified under the guidelines and has no pending case gets their exit visa on the same day. This system is simpler than in the past where there was a waiting period, and the person had to go to the airport Jawazat to get their exit visa number”, said Ambassador Tago.

“I visited the Jawazat at Shumeisy several times since 3 July, and the process is now much simpler. I thanked the Jawazat officials who have been very accommodating and they stressed their full cooperation to ensure that everyone is helped,” Ambassador Tago said.

The schedule for females at the Jawazat Wafideen is Tuesdays and Wednesdays (830PM to 230AM during Ramadhan) and Thursdays during the same time for males. Females who do not have their iqama or passport used during entry into the Kingdom and who have not undergone fingerprinting and other biometric intake should coordinate with POLO Riyadh for processing at the Social Welfare Authority.

The Embassy reminds all males to ensure that they have paid their traffic violation penalties, and have cleared their record of any vehicles previously on their record.

The Embassy is ready to help clear the record of those with a case filed against them at the police or Jawazat. END

Press Release No. PR-138-2013/28 July 2013

Dammam Court Forwards Lanuza’s File to Emir’s Office After Victim’s Family Sign the Court Decision

***
 RIYADH 27/07/2013: Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin Tago returned to Riyadh from Dammam after a two day trip where he verified with the Court 3 that the family of the victim of Rodelio Lanuza has signed the court decision acknowledging their receipt of the blood money and their forgiveness to Rodelio Lanuza.

Ambassador Tago revealed that the court on 25 July formally forwarded the file to the Office of the Emir of the Eastern Region, after the victim’s family and the Judge had signed the court decision.

Dondon Lanuza

Dondon Lanuza

Ambassador Tago said “when it was confirmed that the court decision was already signed by the victim’s family and the Judge but it was not yet sent to the Emir’s Office since the supervising judge Usamah Al-Tayyar was on leave, I met on Wednesday 24 July with the Head of the Dammam Grand Court Judge Ibrahim Al-Sayyari and I briefed him on the reason for the delay. Judge Ibrahim Al-Sayyari summoned the court administrative supervisor and instructed him to prepare the endorsement and have the alternate judge sign the endorsement of the file.”

On 25 July, we went back to the court and ensured that the endorsement was signed and sent to the outgoing section for transmittal to the Office of the Emir of the Eastern Region,” added Ambassador Tago.

Earlier in the week, Ambassador Tago called Mr. Abu Saqr Al-Qahtani who is a relative of the victim to seek his help for the signing of the court decision. Abu Saqr had helped the Philippine Embassy and the Dammam Reconciliation Committee in February 2011 during the agreement with the family for the forgiveness.

Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin Tago reiterated the appreciation of the Philippine government to the family of Mohammad Saad Al-Qahtani for their forgiveness, and thanked the Dammam Reconciliation Committee headed by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Osaimeen and Sheikh Ali bin Ali for their continued help and assistance throughout the years in reaching out to the family.

I must also thank the Office of the Emir under the former and current Emirs and ultimately the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud who issued a royal order to pay the remaining 2.3 million to complete the blood money due to the family”, Ambassador Tago stressed.

The Embassy will check with the Office of the Emir whether it will issue the order for release, or will forward the file to the Ministry of Interior.END

Press Release No. PR-136-2013
26 July 2013

Pasaway – Part 2

***

Masarap ang Bawal

To my fellow OFWs most particularly here in Saudi Arabia, I would like to remind you again that Saudi Arabia is a highly conservative country in which Islamic Law (Sharia) is strictly being enforced.  So, under  Sharia, no alcohol, pork products  and religious books  not related to Islam are allowed in this country. Therefore, as a visitor we are obliged to follow their rules. Once you broke the rules, believe me my friend you will be living like hell in their prison cell.

So, if you are a pasaway in our country, please don’t ever do it here because they’re not arresting you to be reformed but they will arrest you so that you will be punished. 

So, if you’re an alcoholic in our country, Saudi Arabia is the right place for you to be rehabilitated after all, kaya naman siguro magsaya without alcohol. 

I just found out reading a blog article “What A Fella Has To Do To Get A Drink Around The Muslim World” that Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia are all quite very wet, and alcohol is available in restaurants, bars and shops and Turkey is also full of bars and liquor stores. It also said, Bahrain has some of the wildest bars in the region BUT Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are completely dry, and there’s not a drop of legal alcohol found in this country.

Well, why the author of the article say so that “not a drop of legal alcohol”  found in this two particular countries? Know why? Because there are also “drops of illegal alcohol in Kuwait  and Saudi Arabia.

Sabi nga nila kung mayroong legal may illegal. Sabi rin ng iba mas masarap ang bawal (lalo na pag Pagibig).  Masarap nga ang bawal pero pag mahuli na at makulong sisisihin ang Embahada or Konsulado dahil wala raw itong nagawa o ginagawa upang sila’y mapalaya. Sus! Mary and Joseph naman kayo kabayan!  Yan ang sinasabi ko,  sa OAV pag parehistro o botohan, maraming sinasabi, kesyo dayaan lang daw, malayo ang Embahada, walang pamasahe. E, ngayong nasa kulongan kayo, makuha nyo pang mag-reklamo, hindi naman kayo botante o bumoboto, Pilipino ba kayo? 

Sadiki Juice

Let’s go back to the fun. This illegal alcohol in Saudi Arabia is popularly known as “Sadiki Juice”. But before we touch this Sadiki thing, according to a book I read titled “Blue Flame” it said: historically, alcoholic distillation began with the Arabs who, however, did not invent, but greatly improved the cumbersome methods used by the Greeks in distilling turpentine from rosin. It added that the Arabs were the first to distill wine, and wood alcohol is plainly Arabic in origin.” That is why alcoholic drinks are banned in this country because they know from the beginning that nothing ever good comes from drunkenness.

In Saudi Arabia there are expatriates and some of them Filipinos languishing in various jails caught drinking or in possession of this so called “Sadiki Juice”. However, drinking and selling are two different things, in which the latter is a serious offense that could lead to many months or perhaps years in jail, accompanied with caning or whipping, worse a death penalty. But the death penalty depends on the crime committed under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating liquor. The Death Penalty Worldwide website explained that Recidivism hadd  can be used as grounds for execution in Saudi Arabia (Recidivism means, a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; especially: relapse into criminal behavior. Source: Merriam Webster online dictionary).

So fellow OFWs and friends, if you want to have a party or gatherings, drinking sadiki  has nothing to do with having fun or not, as what I’ve said you can have fun without it. And why put your life, job, friends and your family at risk where you know already that drinking and possessing alcohol or intoxicating liquor is strictly prohibited in this country?  Bakit pa tayo magpasaway?

Babala sa mga Pasaway

In my previous posting, the Three Facets of Sexual Abuse, I pointed out that that it is so sad to think na ang mga taong may kayumangging balat, pango ang ilong at panot ay siya pang magpapahamak sa iyo, sa madaling salita kalahi mo, the very same people whom we believed to be on our side are the ones pushing us into the wall of limbo. 

"KAMOT SA LIKOD"

“KAMOT SA LIKOD”

Magsilbing babala sana ang posting na ito sa ating mga pasaway na kapwa pinoy sa Saudi Arabia.  Nais ko pong ipaalam sa inyo na may mga kababayan po tayong gumagala sa kaharian na ang misyon ay ipahamak ang ating kapwa kalahi. Ang mga taong ito ay mga ahente ng mga “mahabang balbas.” Kakaibiganin po nila ang mga pasaway sa sadiki. Mayroon rin po silang mga assets, at mga pain katulad po ng mga magagandang pinay na babae. Yayain po kayo ng babae na ito sa isang party at dahil nga alam nila na pasaway ka sa alak at alam mo kung saan ka kukuha, lalapitan po kayo o tatawagan, imbitahin sa isang pagsasalo sabay tanong kung ikaw ba ay may makukunan na sadiki. Ikaw naman na may alam kung saan kukuha, gagawa ng paraan upang magkaroon nito. Sa madali pong salita, dadalhin nyo po si sadiki sa babae o sa bahay tagpoan na kung saan doon magaganap ang kasiyahan. Lingid sa iyong kaalaman, pagdating mo pa lang at sa pagpaparada mo ng iyong sasakyan,  lalapit na po ang asset  nila sabay tapon o hulog ng pera sa iyong sasakyan. Sa di kalayoan paparating si mahabang balbas sabay halughog sa iyong minamanehong sasakyan at natural si sadiki ay naroroon at ang perang hinulog na may marka in other words, marked money. Dadalhin po kayo sa presinto habang makipag negosasyon sa iyo ang kapwa natin kalahi. Sa pagkakataong ito hihingan po kayo ng sampung libong riyal, depende po sa kanilang mabiktima. Kung alam nila na may pera ka tumataginting ang sampu hanggang labin-limang libo kapalit  sa iyong kalayaan. Kung ikaw ay pabagal-bagal kumilos sa paghahanap ng pera, timbog ka! Tutuloyan ka nila. Kawawa ka, makulong ka ng wala sa panahon. Kahihiyan ang aaabotin mo at pag-aalala naman ng iyong pamilya at mga kaibigan. Sa kabilang panig, si igan na babae at lalaki, pati ang asset nito ay  naghahatian na sa perang nakulimbat sa iyo. At alam mo ba igan kung ano ang kaso  mo?  Pushing or Selling liquor, na may mabigat na parusang pagkabalinggo ng anim na buwan hanggang isang taon o higit pa na may kasamang “kamot sa likod” (caning, flogging, whipping or lashing). Depende po kung ilang kamot sa isang araw hanggang matapos mo ang bilang na ipinataw sa iyo ng hukoman.

Kaya igan at kahanay kong OFW sa bansang Saudi Arabia, huwag ng pasaway at huwag basta basta magtiwala sa mga taong kausap mo lalong lalo na pag transakyon o Gawain ay illegal dahil wala po itong magandang kahinatnan. Alam nyo na pong bawal, huwag na pong gawin, huwag na pong magpasaway.

Alalahanin po natin na may mga bagay o pangyayaring hindi na kaya pang muling balikan upang ito ay itama. Ang naganap ay ganap na at ang pagsisisi ay laging nasa huli. Buksan natin ang ating isipan, huwag padalos-dalos ng desisyon at isantabi ang maka-mundong pangangailangan at higit sa lahat humingi ng gabay sa Panginoong Maykapal.  – Bong Amora

End of service benefits for domestic workers laudable

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The Saudi Council of Ministers through the recommendation made by the Ministry of Labor and its attached agencies announced a new law safeguarding the rights of domestic workers in the Kingdom.  One of them is the end-of-service benefits that will be given to the worker after four years of service. The OFWs in the Kingdom welcome the moved of the Saudi government for this very laudable action on their part to compensate the tons of sweats pouring out from the brows of our domestic workers in a days, months and years of hard work and perhaps humiliation in the hands of harsh employers. We can’t deny that not all employers are treating their domestic workers well but as what the good Labor Minister Adel Fakeih said “the law aims at regulating relationship between domestic help and their employers while explaining their rights and duties and punishment for violators of contract terms”.   

The Labor Agreement signed by both countries during the visit of Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz last May of this year includes: weekly rest days and daily rest periods, paid vacation leave, non-withholding of passports and work permits, free communication and humane treatment. The new law states same provisions as stipulated in the agreement that was agreed by both parties except for the ESB that was announced just recently. 

Though, I have still doubts that under the same sponsorship system non-withholding of passports and work permits will never be realized or be implemented.   

Also under the new agreement, some Saudi employers are complaining that Saudi recruitment agencies are asking SAR 13,000 or more in hiring domestic workers from the Philippines. According to some of my Saudi friends, same amount still to be paid for a pre-selected (of their choice) domestic worker. In case of pre-selected worker, the local recruitment agency will not replace any one found not suited to the job. In other words, not responsible to whatever complaint the employer may raised during the period of the employment contract. Domestic work is a large and growing sector of employment (Photo taken from WIEGO)

Moreover, the Philippine recruitment agency and local agency will work side by side in the selection process and are responsible or accountable to any uncertainties that may happen within the contract duration of the domestic worker. Secondly in the first 90 days, the recruitment agency is resposible for; replacement of a new one in case the domestic worker is not suited for the job, runaway from the employer, accountable if the domestic worker steals from the employer or any other problems that may occur during the 90 days provisionary period. 

According to WIEGO, a global action-research-policy network “domestic workers provide essential services that enable others to work outside the home, thus facilitating the functioning of labor market and the economy” and having an End of Service Benefits to our domestic workers is a commendable move on the part of Saudi government.  – BongAmora

Philippine Embassy Warns Against Use of Fake Marriage Contracts or Other Fake Documents

 

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 (Riyadh, 16 July 2013) – The Philippine Embassy warns all Filipinos that the use of fake marriage contracts or any other fake “authenticated” documents is illegal and contrary to both Philippine and Saudi Arabia’s laws.

Anyone caught using or holding a fake marriage contract or other fake authenticated document can be held liable for violation of these laws.

confiscated

Confiscated Fake Documents (Click Here)

 The Embassy reminds all Filipinos to refrain from dealing with “fixers” or middlemen in Saudi Arabia or in the Philippines, who pose as Embassy officials, and promise to procure these fake documents in exchange for cash.

 All genuine Embassy-issued documents as well as all Embassy transactions along with their corresponding fees can be found at its website.

 All Embassy officials and personnel, including their designations are also listed on the website. (END)

 TAGALOG VERSION:

200810_the-proposal-posterABISO PAGGAMIT NG PEKENG MARRIAGE  CONTRACTS O IBA PANG PEKENG DOKUMENTO AY ILEGAL AT MAHIGPIT NA IPINAGBABAWAL 

(Riyadh, 16 July 2013) – Pinapaalalahanan ng Embahada ang lahat ng mga Filipino na ang paggamit ng mga pekeng marriage contracts o iba pang mga pekeng dokumento ay illegal at mahigpit na ipinagbabawal. Ito ay labag sa batas ng Pilipinas pati na rin sa batas ng Saudi Arabia.

Ang sinumang mahuling gumagamit ng mga pekeng marriage contract o iba pang pekeng dokumento ay maaaring patawan ng parusa sa paglabag sa mga batas na ito.

Hindi kailanman pinapayagan ng Embahada ang paggamit ng mga pekeng dokumento na ito. Patuloy na kukumpiskahin ng Embahada ang mga pekeng dokumento na ito. Ilalathala din ng Embahada ang mga pekeng dokumento nito sa website sa http://www.philembassy-riyadh.org para magsilbing paalala at kalinawan sa lahat.

Muling pinapaalalahanan ng Embahada ang lahat ng Filipino na umiwas makipagtransaksyon sa mga “fixer” o “middlemen” dito sa Saudi Arabia o sa Pilipinas, na nagpapanggap na mga taga-Embahada, at nangangakong kumuha ng mga pekeng dokumento na ito kapalit ng pera or halaga.

Ang lahat ng mga dokumento at mga transaksyon na nanggagaling at nangyayari sa Embahada pati na rin ang karampatang kabayaran sa mga ito ay matatagpuan sa website nito.

Ang lahat rin ng mga opisyales at empleyado ng Embahada, pati na rin ang kanilang mga posisyon, ay matatagpuan din sa website. (DULO)

Philippine Embassy in Riyadh Press Release  No. PR-131-2013

Know your Philippine Embassy and Consulate Officials

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Surfing the Philippine Embassy website is one of the tasks I include in my morning routine, of course at the same time with a cup of coffee. Been doing it for the past two years in lookout for interesting information that I might be going to share here with you in our ofwempowerment blog.

philempersFor almost a year now since I decided to rest for a while in community service and activities; reading important events, news and advisories at PhilEmb website makes me still feel connected with the community that I’ve been serving for the past 20 years as one of the community leaders in the Kingdom. The last time I was with Filipino Community event when  Mr. Ernie Perez  the newly elected Global President of United Filipinos Worldwide for Community Development (UFWCD) asked me to be the Master of Ceremony  in the last September launching of  PHLPost e-Postmo service.  UFWCD is a SEC registered organization of OFWs worldwide where I was appointed as  UFWCD-Riyadh Chapter adviser.

And during the past few months surfing the Embassy website, I noticed that many new Foreign Service Officers from Manila were posted in Saudi Arabia to fill those who ended their tour of duty.

First Secretary and Consul Mohd. Noordin Lomondot, the Head of the Consular Section left on May 29, 2013 to assume as First Secretary and Consul in the Philippine Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Consul Lomondot also served as Philippine Consul General in Jeddah from 2004 to 2007. He was rumored to replace the then Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Tony Villamor however, the post of the Chief of Mission was given to the current H.E. Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago.

Section 29-Promotions of “Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991″ states that “Career ministers and chiefs of mission, class I and II, shall not have grade classifications within each class. Seniority shall be determined by their original dates of appointment as career ministers, as well as the dates of their original entry into the Department.”

On May 31, 2011  Ambassador Tago was confirmed by the Senate Commission on Appointments as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with concurrent jurisdiction over the Republic of Yemen. Among those confirmed  at that time by  CA was Career Minister Uriel Norman R. Garibay, now Minister and  Philippine Consul General in Jeddah.

I was one of those who lobbied for Ambassador Ezz Tago the then Minister/Consul General and Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy in Riyadh. I was also among the OFWS along with FilCom Jeddah leaders who pushed the appointment of  Career Minister  Norman Garibay who was at DFA-Manila overseeing the Office of European Affairs as Executive Director. But prior to that position, he was the First Secretary and Consul in Philippine Embassy in Canberra, Australia In 1993 when I was a neophyte 28 year old OFW in Jeddah, the good Consul General Norman Garibay was a young and blooming diplomat with a rank of Vice Consul.

Another Embassy official ended her two year tour of duty was Ms. Nilda Oliva, Social Welfare Attache from the DSWD. Attache Oliva was replaced by DSWD Social Welfare Attaché Ms. Perlita Panganiban whose prior appointment, served as Chief of Division in Institutional Development and head of Technical Division, of DSWD in Cordillera Administrative Region.

The young Minister ConGen Norman Garibay w/ FilCom Leaders in Jeddah

The young Minister ConGen Norman Garibay w/ FilCom Leaders in Jeddah

The Filipino community also welcomed Hon. Marshall Louis M. Alferez, who assume as Minister and Consul General in the Embassy. He will supervise the assistance-nationals sections (ANS) vacated by my sparkling friend Consul Atty. Roussel Reyes.  Alferez  in 1999 was posted in London as First Secretary and Consul  in charge of Political Section and eventually became Minister and Consul. He joined the Department of Foreign Service in 1996.

Just last month, former Philippine diplomat to France Hon. Winston Dean Siscon Almeda was designated Third Secretary and Vice Consul of Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, who replaced Consul Mohd. Noordin Lomondot as head of the Consular Section.From March 2008 to July 2009, Hon. Winston Almeda was Special Assistant in the Office of the Undersecretary for Special and Ocean Concerns, handling issues relating to the peace processes, maritime security and anti-terrorism.

If we have new career diplomats at Philippine Embassy, we have also newcomers, one of them is Ms. Maria Angelica Capili-Genotiva, Third Secretary and Vice Consul who joined the Department of Foreign Affairs on 7 July 2008. Ms. Genotiva passed the Foreign Service Examinations in 2007. Her first foreign assignment on 26 February 2011 at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Ms. Nora Jamil Nirza joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in November 2002. In the Home Office she was assigned at the Office of Consular Affairs. She is a graduate of BSC-Marketing (cum laude) from the University of San Jose Recoletos-Cebu.

Mr. Rene Diamante Salazar is a graduate of AB Economics from the Sacred Heart College in 1988. He joined the government service in July 2001. Initially, he was assigned at the Office of Consular Affairs as clerk and served in Lucena Regional Consular Office as Alternate Signing Officer. Prior to his assignment in Riyadh, Mr. Salazar has undergone seminars and training on Phil Passport: Production, Security Features and Fraud Detection; Course on Personality Enhancement and Public Service; Training on anti-Trafficking in Persons for Consular Officers, Protecting Domestic Workers from their Vulnerability to Forced Labor and Trafficking. He was a recipient of the Outstanding Employee award in 2006.

Less than a year ago, dynamic, energetic and respected career diplomat Mrs. Germinia V. Aguilar-Usudan assumed her duties as Consul in Jeddah. She was stationed at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh as Second Secretary and Consul from 2002 to 2006.

Mrs. Aguilar-Usudan who is a lawyer, served as Principal Assistant at the Office of Consular Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs from June 1997 to October 1999, as Third Secretary and Vice Consul at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE (1999-2002). When she was placed back at DFA-Manila , she was the Vice Chairman of the Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat. After a two year stint in Manila she was posted back abroad as First Secretary and Consul at the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.

You can surf the Philippine Embassy website at http://www.philembassy-riyadh.org/ or click this link to see the updated list of Philippine Embassy Personel http://www.philembassy-riyadh.org/index.php/about-us/embassy-personnel. For Philippine Consulate General located in Jeddah, please click the following link http://www.pcgjeddah.org/ .

***

The U.S. Department of State in their website has labeled every non-European country a “hardship post” for their American diplomats and that include Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

Factors considered belong to hardship post are difficult living conditions due to climate, crime, health care and pollution. Other factor like security issues, for example in a war torn Afghanistan.

Isang Taon pa...WARAY na!

Isang Taon pa…WARAY na!

Philippine government may consider Saudi Arabia a hardship post for their Filipino Foreign Service workers. Our government should compensate their hardship for taking care of our OFWs in distress, not to mention that there are estimated more or less 1 million Filipinos working in Saudi Arabia under their watch. For me, naturally they deserved 15% to 20% extra pay as “hardship differential”.  However in return, we are expecting our Foreign Service officers to serve heartily and provide adequate services to their kababayans especially to those OFWs in distress who needs their utmost care and attention.  Many of them are those in detention.  I am hoping that the new ANS Chief, the Minister and Consul General Marshall Louis M. Alferez will give his full attention to those fellow OFWs incarcerated in various jails of the Kingdom.

Well, as what I mentioned in my old blog post “from KSA to Washington DC, USA”,  after sakit sa ulo, after all the kunot noo, lagas ng buhok, and batikos from some community organization and press – to recompense all of the abovewill be a good posting and shining moments somewhere in the top 10 best cities of Europe and America. – BongAmora

Click here >>>>>>>> PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS LABOR OFFICE (POLO) PERSONNEL  AS OF JUNE 2013  

Clcik here >>>>>>>>PHILIPPINE EMBASSY ATTACHED AGENCIES PERSONNEL AS OF JUNE 2013

 

Source: Philippine Embassy-Riyadh website, Philippine Consulate in Jeddah website, U.S. Department of State website

King Extends Grace Period For Correcting Violating Workers’ Status

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EXPATS
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has directed to extend the grace period for correcting the status of violating workers until the end of the current Hijri year 1434 AH (November 3, 2013 Gregorian Calendar) as a maximum period.

The Ministry of Interior said in a statement issued today that the King issued his directive in pursuant to the royal directive to give a grace period to workers violating the system of work and residence for a maximum period of three months effective from the date of 25/05/1434 AH to correct their status, and based on what has been submitted by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Labor on full cooperation and rapid response from citizens, residents, and the business sector which resulted in correcting the status of large numbers of violators, and in the light of the full cooperation of the concerned embassies and consulates to meet the required documents and their desire as a result of the heavy pressure from workers to provide more time to correct their status, and in facilitation for citizens and residents who have dealt with this matter very seriously.

It said that the King has directed to extend the grace period for correcting the status of violating workers until the end of the current Hijri year 1434 AH as a maximum grace period and after that period, security and competent authorities shall start their campaigns and regular functions to detain violators in all regions of the Kingdom effective from Muharram 1, 1435 AH and all legal procedures shall be applied against violators.

The Ministries of Interior and Labor call on all concerned people to work to meet all the statutory requirements and correct their status as soon as possible within the referred period, otherwise those who do not respond positively, they shall be subject to maximum penalties in accordance with the provisions of the regulations.

Alriyadh Newspaper – JEDDAH – SPA: 2013-07-02 12:50:36

Special Licensure Exams in Riyadh and Jeddah on 15-17 October 2013

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Special Licensure Exams in Riyadh and Jeddah on 15-17 October 2013

In a press release posted on its website, The PROFESSIONAL REGULATION COMMISSION (PRC) announced that Special Licensure Board Examinations (SPLBE) will be conducted in the Middle East on October 15, 16 & 17, 2013.

 The testing centers and licensure board examinations are as follows:

   TESTING CENTERS   
   LICENSURE     EXAMINATIONS   
1. ABU DHABI, UAE

2. DOHA, QATAR

3. RIYADH, KSA

4. JEDDAH, KSA

1. ARCHITECTS

2. CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

3. CIVIL ENGINEERS

4. REGISTERED ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS AND REGISTERED MASTER ELECTRICIANS

5. ELECTRONIC ENGINEERS

6. MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

7. NURSES    

Submission of list of pre-qualified applicants for the applicable licensure examination by POLO to PRC is until Thursday, August 15, 2013. Applicants may file their applications via On‑line Application System (OAS) which can be accessed at Philippine Embassy  website http://www.philembassy-riyadh.org/ .

Upon submission of the application for licensure examinations via OAS the following documents are to be submitted by the applicants to the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) at the respective Embassies/Consulates until Friday, September 13, 2013. (NOTE: Requirements can be browsed at the official website of PRC)

Basic Documents

Photocopy of Transcript of Records (with or without scanned picture and remarks “For Board Examination Purposes Only”)

Photocopy of valid passport

Four (4) passport size pictures with complete nametag in white background

Original copies of above mentioned documents shall be presented to the PRC examination team for validation upon their arrival at the examination venues.

Professional Regulatory Board (PRB) – Specific Original Documents

Filipino Architects at the Philippine Embassy during December 2010, Arki Board Exams (Photo by Architect Denick Carullo)

Filipino Architects at the Philippine Embassy during December 2010, Arki Board Exams (Photo by Architect Denick Carullo)

For Architects:

Accomplished Logbook for Diversified Experience for local/overseas experience (certified by mentor-architect) and/or Certificate of Related Work Experience for overseas experience signed by the employer for a minimum of 3,840 hours. Scanned copies shall be submitted through e-mail to the Board of Architecture for conditional approval.

Updated PRC ID of mentor, PTR, IAPOA

Affidavit must be signed and sealed by Architect-mentor

For Registered Master Electricians: Certificate of experience on prescribed form (PRC Form No. 104), certified and signed by REE/RME/PEE and Certification from the Company.

For CPAs: Certificate of Completion for refresher course if applicable. Repeaters shall submit proof of most recent exams taken (NOA, OR)

For Nurses: First Timer: BSN graduates under CMO No.14 S 2009- Certificate of Undertaking signed by the Dean and Registrar, duly notarized.

BSN graduates under CMO No.30 S 2001-original copy of the Summary of Related Learning Experience (RLE) and original copy of the OR-DR cases in the new format. Repeater: Basic Documents.

Payment of examination fees shall be remitted by the applicants/examinees through the designated Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Overseas Remittance Offices (OROs).

Source: Philippine Embassy in Riyadh/  Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Press Release  No. PR-120-2013

Three facets of sexual abuse

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Case No. 1 = Silvio Berlusconi

The former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced yesterday to seven years in jail after being found guilty of paying for sex with an underage prostitute Karima El Mahroug. In Italy, paying a woman for sex who is underage is a criminal offense. Karima El Mahroug was 17 at the time of the sex with consent occurred. However, the exchange of sexual services for money in Italy is legal, but organized prostitution like brothels is prohibited and paying a person under 18 for sex is a crime.

Just-Ice Italy prohibits sexual acts to an unmarried person under the age of consent which is 14. If two people engage in sex below the age of consent and in the same age, both can be charged with misdemeanor while if the one is older than the victim, the older person is treated as a sex offender and can be charged with statutory rape.

The 76-year-old former Italian leader and media tycoon, who denied all the allegations, has also been banned from holding public office for life.

Case No. 2 = Name withheld

A man could be convicted of rape even if the woman agreed to have sex, judges have ruled.

He would still be guilty if he did something she asked him not to, a High Court panel led by England and Wales most senior judge ruled.

This is a case involving a wife who claimed her husband broke their agreement by failing to withdraw. The judge’s creed that the man would no longer have the consent because he intentionally ignored the limitations set by his wife before the act was decided.

The judges said, the wife was deprived of choice and her consent was invalid under the circumstances. She agreed to have sex with her husband after the latter promised to withdraw because she was adamant that not to have another child. The couple has four children, two girls and two boys; the youngest is four years old. But the husband went back on his word, making her pregnant.

The judges decided it falls within the statutory definition of rape. Though they informed the public that withdrawal is not a safe method of contraception.

The husband now faces prosecution for rape following the court’s ruling that, if he deliberately ignored his wife’s wish that he withdraw before ejaculation, she had not consented to sex.

Case No. 3 = Antonio Villafuerte

Presumed innocent until proven guilty, that’s the case of POLO Riyadh, Asst. Labor Attaché Antonio Villafuerte. He should be summoned to come home and faced his accuser, to speak and defend himself on the accusations of sexual abuse hurled to him by female OFW in distress.

The story published in Philippine daily newspapers narrated that female OFW in distress named “Michelle” went to the shelter (Filipino Workers Resource Center) waiting for her ticket. According to her the Assistant Labor Attaché Tony Villafuerte told her that an Egyptian will pay her ticket back home in return of a sex act but the Labor Attaché himself started to take advantage of her. But she refused, and also the Egyptian pitied her.

To my readers, please note that no sexual act took place or consummated , the word “take advantage on her” and the “the Egyptian pitied her” are clear enough that nothing happened yet. This is only in the case of Michelle. We don’t know yet if there are other signed complaints from more alleged victim.

The International Association of Women Judges based in Washington, USA says; people who occupy positions of authority and public trust sometimes abuse their power and seek to take advantage of those who are dependent on their favor. When the abuse of power involves a demand for sexual favors, we are naming it “sextortion.”

It is just so sad to think that the people we rely on to be on our side are the ones hurting us. However, we should be concerned about the idea that sometime allegation may be subject to false-accusations. This sits against one of the most important principles in law: a person is to be presumed innocent, until they are found to be guilty.

By: Bong Amora

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Hurry! Employers are Waiting For You..

imagesCAZ0GU0F

 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Minister of Interior Prince Muhammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz issued a directive that non-Saudis or Expatriates convicted of crimes and sentenced to prison for three months or longer or to more than 40 lashes must be deported.

Interior Ministry also announced banning expatriates who have criminal records in GCC countries from entry to Saudi Arabia. Violators of the country’s residency laws will be banned from entering for three years for first-time violators and for life for second-time violators.

Deportation is applied against expatriates who perpetrate major crimes. First-time offenders in lesser crimes and sentenced to less than three months in prison or 40 lashes would not be deported but obliged to sign an undertaking. Second-time offenders will be deported.  (MOI 5/29/2013)

Announcement & Advisory from Philippine Embassy-Riyadh

LOGO%20Emb

PANIBAGONG ABISO TUNGKOL SA LOST PASSPORT SERVICES PARA SA MGA “ABSCONDED” O TAKAS NA MANGGAGAWA

(RIYADH, ika-27 ng Mayo 2013) – Patuloy ang pag-conduct ng Embahada ng “Lost Passport” services sa consular field office nito sa International Philippine School of Riyadh (IPSR) para sa mga “absconded” o takas na manggagawa, kasama na rito ang mga nagtratrabaho sa employer na hindi nila orihinal na sponsor.

Ang consular field office na ito sa IPSR ay bukas hanggang Martes, ika-4 ng Hunyo 2013 lamang.

Dahil sa napakaraming manggagawa na nais makakuha ng “lost passport” services, kinailangan ng Embahada na gawing salitan ang pag-asikaso ng mga babae at lalake, ayon sa sumusunod na schedule: 

read more, click here >>>>PHILIPPINES

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Philippine Embassy in Riyadh To Go To Al-Khobar on 30-31 May to Extend Services for Those Who Need to Correct Status

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh will be in Al-Khobar on 30-31 May 2013 (Thursday and Friday) to extend services to Filipinos who need documents to correct their status before 3 July 2013. The services will be held at Al- Jazeera International School in Al-Khobar, from 8AM to 5PM on 30 May and 8AM to 3PM on 31 May.

The services will not include any consular services to the public other than those who need to correct their status.  The services will include the following: 

read more, click here>>>> PHILIPPINES

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Philippine Embassy Announces the Conduct of Special Professional Licensure Examinations for 2013

The Philippine Embassy announces that the Philippine Regulation Commission has issued Resolution No. 2013-739, Series of 2013 concerning the conduct of the Special Professional Licensure Board Examinations (SPLBEs) for Overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East for 2013. 

read more, click here>>>> PHILIPPINES

Philippine Airlines to resume flight operations to Saudi Arabia

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(RIYADH, 25 May 2013) – The Philippines’ national carrier, Philippines Airlines (PAL), is planning to resume its flight operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the near future.

(L-R) Embassy Political Assistant Lilian Adiong, PAL official Reynaldo Garcia, Kanoo Travel General Manager Sayed Mazher Ali, Consul-General Louis Alferez, PAL GSA Relations Manager Pocholo Azucena, Embassy Cultural Officer Taha Guinomla, and PAL International Revenue Management Manager Emmanuel Sison.

(L-R) Embassy Political Assistant Lilian Adiong, PAL official Reynaldo Garcia, Kanoo Travel General Manager Sayed Mazher Ali, Consul-General Louis Alferez, PAL GSA Relations Manager Pocholo Azucena, Embassy Cultural Officer Taha Guinomla, and PAL International Revenue Management Manager Emmanuel Sison.

Senior PAL officials called on Minister and Consul-General Marshall Louis Alferez at the Embassy on 23 May 2013 to share their plans for the resumption of direct PAL flights between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia in the near future. Ambassador Ezzedin Tago, who was originally scheduled to receive the PAL officials, was in the Eastern Region and unable to receive the PAL officials.PAL officials said that the flight services would involve newly acquired/purchased planes that could accommodate more than 300 passengers.

“As the national carrier, Philippine Airlines is always a source of pride to Filipinos overseas. If PAL does indeed resume its operations to Saudi Arabia soon, I am sure that it will be warmly welcomed by our kababayan here in the Kingdom,” said Consul-General Alferez.

The Consul General also told the PAL officials that there has been a notable increase in tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia to the Philippines, especially among families, from 22,214 in 2010, and 27,945 in 2011, to 30,040 visitors in 2012. He said that the future resumption of PAL flights in the Kingdom would further strengthen the Philippines’ ability to tap the huge Saudi tourism market. He further noted that many expressions of interest were received from the Saudi public during the Riyadh Travel Fair 2013 last 23-26 April 2013.

Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin Tago expressed confidence that the return of PAL would help boost Philippine tourism as well as provide alternatives to travelers to the Philippines.(END) – Philippine Embassy in Riyadh/No. PR-093- 2013

Embassy Does Not Have Workers for Transfer

LOGO%20EmbPhilippine Embassy in Riyadh
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Press Release
 No. PR-092- 2013

Embassy Does Not Have Workers for Transfer

(Riyadh, 25 May 2013) Since the announcement of guidelines for the correction of the status of workers on 10 May, many interested potential employers are crowding the Embassy and its consular outfield services looking for workers. The Embassy notes that it has received reports that an SMS message alleges that the Embassy has household workers for transfer of employment.

The Embassy also has received numerous inquiries asking for workers for transfer of employment in all categories especially household workers.

The Embassy it has no household workers available for transfer as alleged by widespread SMS messages, social media and Internet news. The Embassy is not a recruitment agency. Those looking for a household worker should contact an accredited recruitment agency.

The Embassy has also received offers for jobs for Filipinos, which it posts on a blog linked to its website, and on a board outside the Embassy. The Embassy stresses that it is not responsible for the transactions and agreements made between the companies and the Filipinos, and it does not endorse any of the companies. – end-

2013 Philippine Election Party List Winners

partylist winners

http://www.rappler.com

Fourteen out of 58 party-list seats up for grabs in the recently concluded midterm polls have been awarded on Friday, 24 May 2013 by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“The Comelec, sitting as NBOC, resolves to partially proclaim the 14 party-list groups as initial winners in the party-list elections of May 13, 2013, entitled to one guaranteed seat,” according to the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) Resolution 0006-13.

Entitled to a seat in the House of Representatives are:

 Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay)

Mariano Michael Velarde, Jr. (incumbent) / Lito Atienza / William Irwin Tieng (incumbent)

Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher)

Mariano Piamonte, Jr. (incumbent) / Julieta Cortuna (incumbent) / Nenita Habulan

 Bayan Muna

Neri Colmenares (incumbent) / Carlos Isagani Zarate / Hope Hervilla

1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy, Inc. (1-Care)

Edgardo Masongsong / Michael Angelo Rivera (incumbent) / Concordio Quisaot

 Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party (Akbayan)

Walden Bello /  Barry Gutierrez

Ako Bicol Political Party (AKB)

Christopher Co / Rodel Batocabe / Alfredo Garbin

Abono Party-list (Abono)

Conrado Estrella III / Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III (incumbent) / Erika Caitlin Dy

OFW Family Club (OFW Family)

Roy Señeres, Sr. / Juan Johnny Revilla / Roy Señeres, Jr.

Gabriela Women’s Party (Gabriela)

Luzviminda Ilagan (incumbent) / Emerenciana de Jesus (incumbent) / Lucia Francisco

Cooperative Natcco Network Party (Coop Natcco)

Cresence Paez (incumbent) / Anthony Bravo / Herminio Hernandez

Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP)

Nicanor Briones (incumbent) / Rico Geron / Arnel Marasigan

 Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (Cibac)

Luis Lokin, Jr. / Bibiano Rivera, Jr. / Antonio Manahan, Jr.

 Magdalo Para sa Pilipino (Magdalo)

Gary Alejano / Francisco Ashley Acedillo / Manuel Cabochan

An Waray

Neil Benedict Montejo / Jude Acidre / Victoria Isabel Noel

How to fill the 58 party-list seats >>>>> CLICK folder  PHILIPPINES

Abiso Ukol sa “Lost Passport” para sa mga Absconded o Takas na Manggagawa

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LOGO%20Emb(Riyadh, ika-22 ng Mayo 2013) – Ang Embahada ng Pilipinas sa Riyadh ay magsasagawa ng consular field office para sa “lost passport” ng mga absconded o takas na manggagawa, kasama rin ang mga manggagawang nagtratrabaho sa employer na hindi nila orihinal na sponsor.

Ang mga detalye ng consular field office na ito ay:

ANO: Consular Field Office Para sa Lost Passport

SAAN: International Philippine School-Riyadh (IPSR)
011 Mamar Al-Burtuqaal St.
Haya Malik Fahad District, Riyadh

KAILAN: Sabado, ika-25 ng Mayo 2013 hanggang Martes, ika-4 ng Hunyo 2013
Pwera ang Huwebes at Biernes Magmula ala-1 ng hapon hanggang alas-7 ng gabi

Ang consular field office na ito ay para lamang sa mga absconded worker o takas na manggagawa, kasama na rin ang mga nagtratrabaho sa mga employer na hindi nila orihinal na sponsor, na nawala na o hindi makita ang kanilang mga pasaporte at nais makakuha ng bago para makapag-trabaho dito sa Saudi Arabia.

Ang mga requirements para sa lost passport ay:

Application Form (na libreng makukuha sa International Philippine School-Riyadh).
Kopya ng nawalang pasaporte (o di kaya’y numero ng pasaporte kung ito’y inyong naaalala).
Affidavit of Loss (na makukuha sa International Philippine School-Riyadh).

Bayad:
SAR 460.00 kung ang nawalang passport ay green (MRP) o maroon (MRRP)
SAR 700.00 kung ang nawalang passport ay maroon na may chip (e-Passport)

Hindi na kailangan ang “police report” o “Jawazat report” para sa consular field office na ito.

Lahat ng passport ay ginagawa sa Pilipinas at ang mga ito’y makukuha lamang dito sa Saudi Arabia pagkatapos ng 45 na araw mula sa pag-apply nito.

Ang mga nawalang ng passport na nais nang umuwi at hindi na magtratrabaho ay hindi dapat pumunta sa consular field office na ito. Kailangan nila ng libreng Travel Document, na makukuha naman sa Elite International School hanggang Miyerkules, ika-28ng Hunyo 2013. Tandaan na ang mga serbisyo sa Elite International School ay para lamang sa Travel Document, releasing of surrendered passport, at pag-renew/extend ng surrendered passport.

Pinaaalala ng Embahada na ang grace period ng Gobyernong Saudi para ayusin ang estado ng paninirahan at pagtratrabaho ay hanggang ika-3 ng Hulyo 2013 lamang. (END)

(Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia/ Press Release No. PR-091- 2013)