Philippine Embassy URGENT Advisory

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Philippine Embassy URGENT Advisory – Filipinos Qualified Under Amnesty but with no documents or fingerprint should contact and register with POLO immediately

philembThe Philippine Embassy in Riyadh advises all Filipinos who are qualify under the guidelines for amnesty but do not have the originals of their iqama and passport and have never submitted themselves for fingerprinting to contact the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh (POLO Riyadh) to register in preparation for procedures at the Wafideen/Jawazat and processing of your final exit.

Those requested to register with POLO are those qualified under the amnesty satisfy all of following conditions:
• Expatriates who absconded from work before the start of the amnesty period or 6 April 2013 and whose previous sponsors filed absconding reports against them, and
 • Those with expired iqama and not working with an employer/sponsor, and
• Those who did not file or have no existing labor complaint filed with the Saudi Labor Office,
 • Those with no original iqama, no original passport used during entry or with entry number, and those with no fingerprint on the system.

For those who contact POLO and register, the Philippine Embassy will endorse them to the Wafeedin / Jawazat at Shumeisy District for fingerprinting and processing of their final exit.

On Wednesday 13 November, the Embassy and POLO assisted 106 Filipinos who qualify and registered, and 99 (52 women and 47 men) were fingerprinted at the Riyadh Jawazat and granted their final exit visa on the same day. The authorities have not required their detention at the Deportation Center in Shumeisy District in Riyadh.

The Embassy reminds those who absconded or have labor cases after the start of the amnesty period or after 6 April 2013 that they are not covered by the amnesty guidelines, and their cases will have to be resolved through regular procedures in accordance with existing rules and regulations.  -end-

Philippine Embassy-Riyadh  (URGENT ADVISORY) #  PR-210-2013 /  16 November 2013

Bangon Philippines!!!!

Bangon PILIPINAS ! !

BANGON PHILIPPINES!

BANGON PHILIPPINES!

Super Typhoon Yolanda left massive damages in several municipalities and cities in the Philippines as it started its destructive course through the country early morning of November 8, 2013. Help over 4 million affected Filipinos to stand back up again as the country rebuilds itself as a nation. Below are some ways you can help relief efforts already underway. Let’s do this!

Donate : Donors are advised to conduct due diligence before donating money directly to personal bank accounts.

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I’M LOOKING FOR SOMEONE: Help create a masterlist of all Yolanda survivors. Let friends & family know others are okay. Click Here!   or  GOOGLE PERSON FINDER: Typhoon Yolanda.

I ask all of you to join me in prayer for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda especially those in the beloved islands of the Philippines –  Pope Francis

157,494 Filipinos Regularize Status During Correction Period

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157,494 Filipinos Regularize
Status During Correction Period

Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago, in a meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Consular Affairs Ambassador Usamah Al-Senousi, expressed gratitude of the Philippine government and the Filipinos in the Kingdom for the 7-month correction period granted by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz which allowed more than 150,000 Filipinos to correct their status in the Kingdom, either through transfer of employment or correction of profession.

Statistics on Filipinos Benefiting From Correction

Region Transfer of employment Left on Final exit Change profession
Riyadh 21838 16427 46647
Eastern 13982 13638 31286
Makkah 13133 5784 17178
Qassim 1050 812 2050
Al-Madinah 635 585 1233
Asir 1074 675 2080
Jazan 266 220 440
Najran 385 194 870
Hail 413 192 1319
Tabuk 209 149 536
Jouf 158 110 367
Baha 107 109 173
Northern Border 80 44 185
Total 53330 38939 104364

Ambassador Tago cited statistics received from the Saudi Ministry of Labor that 53,330 Filipino transferred employment to a new employer, and 104,364 changed or corrected their professions in the work permit and residence card or iqama.

“I thank the Saudi Ministry of Labor which sent the Embassy these official statistics on the number of Filipinos who corrected their status in the Kingdom during the 7 month period from 25/5/1434H to 12/12/1434H,” said Ambassador Tago.

During the meeting with Undersecretary Senousi, Ambassador Tago added, “the statistics were very detailed, and categorized by profession, activity and region. They reveal that Filipinos benefited greatly from the correction period and a large number were able to regularize their status in the Kingdom. More importantly, the statistics reveal that the majority corrected their status across the Kingdom through the initiative of their existing or new employer.”

According to the MOL statistics, 38,939 Filipinos left on final exit during the 7 month period. They include those who left after the end of their contract. Significantly, those who left on final exit during the correction period will be able to return to the Kingdom in the future if they wish to do so, except for a few who may have a derogatory record. As of 5 November, the Philippine government shouldered the repatriation of 2018 from Jeddah, 2332 from Riyadh, and 141 from the Eastern Region. The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah continue to repatriate Filipinos, and 81 are currently being booked on flights to the Philippines.

Special Procedures for Mothers with Children

 Ambassador Tago also thanked the Ministry of Interior and the Office of the Emir as well as the Jawazat officials who helped in the cases of Filipino women who needed documentation for their children. With the approval of the Interior Ministry and the Office of the Emir of Riyadh, an interagency committee processed the birth documentation of 477 women and their 602 children. Of the total number, 401 completed their both the DNA testing and fingerprinting while some opted not to continue with the procedure. 347 mothers with their children have left, while 45 are in the final step either for booking of flights or issuance of final exit.

“We are very thankful for the Interior Ministry and Emir’s approval for the mechanism providing for DNA testing and final exit of the mothers and their children. This has helped many mothers. We regret that there are 191 who did not show up during the procedure, although 29 have now returned and asked for assistance. In addition, we have 103 new cases who have asked for repatriation. The DNA testing procedure ended on 15 July after the Embassy issued several advisories and called all those on the list several times. The 132 cases that are now seeking help have been listed, and the Embassy will try to seek approval for a similar procedure that would facilitate their documentation and the processing of their final exit” stated Ambassador Tago.

In addition to the processing and the DNA testing conducted in a Philippine Embassy rented villa in Um Al-District, the Jawazat accommodated the women for fingerprinting or the basma during a special time, dedicated only for the mothers and their children, which facilitated the process.

Procedures for Pending Cases 

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh has received information from the Passports Directorate General that there will be procedures and a schedule for the processing of males and females who have not completed the procedures to obtain their final exit. The Embassy will inform those who have enlisted seeking final exit once the procedure and the timetable is finalized. The advisory will also be posted on the Embassy’s website and Facebook page.

The Embassy expects the processing to resume next week.###

Philippine Embassy in Riyadh / Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Press Release PR-200-2013 dated 6 November 2013

Crackdown cripples life

FEATURED ARTICLE

JEDDAH/RIYADH – Residents and citizens woke up on Tuesday to a day crippled by a lack of necessary services as illegal expat workers, who failed to rectify their status, stayed indoors for fear of being arrested.

Streets were less crowded where taxi drivers charged exorbitant fares, markets wore a deserted look, many commercial establishments and hospitals reported no-shows, shutters were down on many grocery stores and eateries, street vendors were no where to be seen. Customers were forced to fill grocery bags themselves at super market counters in the absence of expat workers who did this job.

desert1A Saudi national in Jeddah summed up the scenario: “It seems that the country was full of violators. Shops are closed, streets are empty, restaurants are empty. I counted 30 cell phone shops on one street closed. God help us! Where are the citizens?”

In Jazan, a number of Saudis said that they had to go to their workplaces, wearing un-ironed thobe and headgear (shemagh) as most of the laundries remained closed. “There was no way for me to wear a washed and ironed thobe and shemagh as I saw doors of the laundry where I deposited my clothes closed without any notice,” said Muhammad Qassem. Even the dead had to suffer.

About 13 facilities for washing dead bodies were shut down in Jeddah due to the absence of workers. Those who wash dead bodies at these facilities are part-time workers who are scared of inspection raids.

Muhammad Fauzy Maulavi, director of the charity project for washing dead bodies, said that those who wash dead bodies are either drivers or have some administrative jobs listed as their profession. As a result of the closure of the facilities, many people started taking dead bodies to Makkah for washing.

About 60 percent of commercial shops, workshops, fruit and vegetable stalls in Jazan and other cities and towns in the region were closed. There have been increased business activities at the eateries in the region due to the closure of more than 40 percent of restaurants and boofias. “I had to wait more than four hours in front of a restaurant to get lunch from a restaurant where I saw unprecedented rush of customers,” said Abdurahman Nasheeli.

Jabir Kharmi, another citizen, said that he was forced to eat lunch from a fast-food outlet due to the closure of a traditional restaurant where he frequented to have his meal.

Meanwhile, crackdown on illegal expatriates continued throughout the Kingdom on the second day on Tuesday following the end of the amnesty period. More than 5,000 illegals were arrested on the first day. They included 3,607 in Jazan, about 2,000 in Jeddah and 1,159 in Asir region.

Lt. Col. Abdullah Al-Shaathan, spokesman of Asir police, said that the arrested expatriates included 461 people without a valid residency permit (iqama), and another 119 who were found working in violation of the labor law. Three Saudis were also arrested for providing transportation to illegals. A total of 201 illegals were arrested in Hail.

Several illegals from the Asian and Arab countries gathered at their consulates in Jeddah on the first two days of the post-amnesty period, seeking completion of the procedures to rectify their labor and residency status. They complained that even though they had registered their names at their missions, the procedures for correction or securing a final exit stamp have not been finalized at the Passports Department.

Some consulates urged the department to expedite the paperwork. Ali Al-Ayashi, Consul General of Yemen, demanded the department to complete the correction procedures of thousands of Yemenis whose names were registered at the consulate well before the end of the amnesty period.

The Border Guards in Jazan arrested more than 8,000 foreigners belonging to various nationalities who tried to leave the Kingdom illegally within the first 24 hours of the post amnesty period.

Brig. Gen. Abdullah Mahfouz, spokesman of the Guards in Jazan region, said that more than 3,000 of them were deported after getting finger-printed while the remaining illegals are under the process of finger-printing. “It was revealed that a number of these illegals are in the wanted list of security authorities for various crimes and hence, they will be transferred to the concerned authorities for follow up penal action,” he said.

FRONT PAGE: SAUDI GAZETTE  5 NOV. 2013

New Rules Governing the Foreign Workers Violating Labor and Residency Rules After the Correction Period

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New Rules Governing the Foreign Workers Violating Labor and Residency Rules After the Correction Period

philemb(RIYADH, 4 November 2013) – The Saudi Government has informed the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, through a formal diplomatic Note, of the new rules that will govern foreign workers violating the labor and residency laws following the end of the correction period.

Following is a summary of the most salient provisions of the new rules:

 Foreign workers who work illegally for their own account, absconded from their sponsors, and overstayers will be apprehended, penalized and deported;

 Those who employ illegal or absconded workers, provide cover, harbor or transport them, or “aids them by any means” will also be pursued;

Employers will bear the cost of deportation of illegal workers, except where the foreign worker works for himself in which case he will bear the cost of his own deportation;

Illegal workers who are unable to afford the travel ticket will be deported at the cost of the Saudi Government;

Overstayers will deported at the expense of the employer, or, if he works for himself, the company or person who sponsored his visit will bear the cost of deportation;

All companies and individual employers, including government agencies, shall ensure that their workers obtain and renew their iqamas in due time;

Deported foreign workers shall be prohibited from returning to the Kingdom;

Offending foreigners will be accommodated in Saudi Government centers pending deportation.

The Embassy urges all Filipino nationals in the Kingdom to familiarize themselves with the new rules.

In the meantime, the Philippine Embassy and the Consulate advises all those who have taken steps to process their final exit and repatriation to remain calm and not panic. The Embassy and the Consulate continue to coordinate with the concerned authorities for the processing of the final exit of those waiting to be repatriated. The Embassy is currently confirming the procedures and timeframe for those who have no original copy of their residence card or iqama, their passport with the border number, or those who have not encoded their fingerprint. The Embassy in Riyadh has already received advice on procedures for the females, and is coordinating for the procedures for males.

The Embassy and the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah have also created special roving teams that will go around jails, prisons and detention centers around the Kingdom to any violators that have been detained and provide them with Travel Documents to facilitate their early deportation.

The Embassy assures the Filipino community all over the Kingdom that the Philippine Government is ready to provide appropriate assistance to Filipinos.

Further queries may be made thru the following existing 24-hour hotlines in addition to the landlines posted on the Embassy’s website:

Embassy’s Assistance to Nationals Section
056 9893301
Consulate’s Assistance to Nationals Section
055 5219613
Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Riyadh)
054 5917834 / 050 7537997
Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Eastern Province)
050 126 9742
 (END)

Press Release: PR-199-2013: DATED 4 November 2013
 

The reality of Saudization is yet to come

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4/11/2013, RIYADH: Why on earth those undocumented Filipino workers in the Kingdom are hard headed enough to comply legalization process under the Saudi government amnesty program and chose to stay in the Kingdom? Does the three months grace period not enough to conform requirements to complete paper works? I don’t think so. There are many remedies waiting for them during those periods;  to rectify their working status or decide to go home for good.

The Philippine Embassy on 10 October 2013 announced in their website that male Filipino worker who wishes to be repatriated before the 3 November 2013 deadline, but lack the required original iqama or passport and thereby have been unable to process exit visa to contact Embassy and labor office. The Philippine Embassy under the Ambassadorship of H.E. Ezzedin Tago   has arranged with the Office of the Emir for the creation of an interagency committee to look into the cases of those with no documents in preparation for their repatriation. The Philippine labor office was even open during Eid holidays to serve their distress nationals who want to avail the Saudi government amnesty program.

There were even separate facilities for mothers with unducmented children whether they are registered or not to proceed to the embassy’s Um Al-Hammam field office and avail the additional few days’ extension for DNA testing as provided by the Saudi authorities.

DNA testing is an initial step prior to processing at the Jawazat for final exit for those undocumented Filipina mother and children.

However, despite of the announcement and notices from various Filipino groups to their members and friends, a few have been heeding the call.

philembassyWhat’s wrong? What’s on the mind of our fellow OFWs? I can’t find any answers to those simple questions that I, myself asked. Are our embassy has failed to reach our fellow OFW in distress? The answer is No either, because the just concluded amnesty program of the Saudi government was not only for Filipinos, in fact it was for all expatriates in the Kingdom. It is a national instruction or order from Saudi authorities to all foreign workers to correct their status or leave the Kingdom for good. I think our Embassy and or our Consulate had exhausted all possible means to help our OFW in  distress. Maybe the three months time extension was not enough or there will be a personal neglect or the “Filipino manana habit” has something to do with it.

Today is the day to reckon, there will be no excuses. Whether we don’t like it, our own action and by ignoring to follow orders has been substantiated, and therefore we must face the consequences. The theory of flight says “for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction”.

The Saudi authorities will start a massive crackdown to those expatriates who failed to rectify their statuses. There will be a knock on your door at any given time and as what Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al_Hamzi, Director General of the Passport Department  said “we have plans to deal with overcrowding at correctional facilities and prisons have more capacity and are located across the Kingdom, unlike deportation centers, which have a limited capacity.

A Saudi colleague of mine at work saidafter the crackdown and cleansing period, the increase of crimes that involves foreigners will be lessen and corruption in few offices perhaps be eradicated which year by year became a disease in our system”.  

In a press conference, Deputy Labor Minister Mufrej bin Saad Al-Haqbani said labor inspectors would visit commercial establishments, construction sites, operations and maintenance offices, retail outlets, catering companies, cafes. They will crosscheck workers’ identities with their legal documentation to ensure that workers are legal.

Deputy Labor Minister Al-Haqbani was thankful to foreign workers who have participated in the development of the Kingdom. “We still want you but we want foreigners to remain in the Kingdom lawfully” he added.

The Passport Department and other Saudi government security agencies can now exercise and strengthen its internal security measures against terrorist activities and infiltration; crimes such as drug smuggling, manufacturing and alcohol use, visa forgery, immoral act and back door activities. It can easily solve crimes and prevent those expats or foreigners with criminal backgrounds to return the country with false names or new identity.

Again folks, it is not Saudi government harassment and or violation of human rights, it is for the good of all expatriates, the employers and the country as well; and the last but not the least the reality of Saudization is yet to come”.  – BongA

Related links:

Thousands arrested on first day of crackdown 

Life hit hard by labor raids 

MOI Spokesman announces end of grace period for violators of labour, immigration regulations 

Labor inspectors won’t raid homes

Thousands arrested on Day 2

Labor action pays off

Remittances poised to fall 20% in wake of campaign

379 OFWs took SPLBE in Riyadh

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21/10/2013 RIYADH: A total of 379 overseas Filipino workers took the recently conducted Special Professional Licensure Board Examinations (SPLBE) held in Riyadh on 15 to 17 October 2013.

The Examinations were supervised by a Team from the PRC, headed by Director Lily Ann R. Baldago, Head of the 5-member PRC Team.

The Philippine Regulations Commission has been conducting SPLBE overseas since 1997 to qualified OFWs while working in the Middle East or other foreign countries.

01This year’s examination in Riyadh was organized and coordinated by the officers and members of Philippine Professional Organizations (PPO) under the leadership of its current Chairman Engr. Modesto Gibas.

PRC Resolution No. 2011-627 directs the PRC and the Professional Regulatory Boards (PRBs) to conduct SPLBE with the active role and participation of  Philippine Embassies/Consulates and Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) abroad.

The just concluded Special Professional Licensure Board Examinations were administered for 7 disciplines. Nursing still topped the number of examinees with 87 examinees, closely followed by Architecture with 86 examinees, Registered Master Electrician with 54 examinees, Civil Engineering with 49 examinees, Mechanical Engineering with 46 and Certified Public Accountants with 24 examinees.

OFW-applicants who wants to avail SPLBE in the future can submit requests through their respective overseas professional organizations or by OFW-applicants themselves to Philippine embassies or consulates through the POLOs.

The Philippine posts or the POLOs shall then submit to the PRC data on the number of pre-registered OFW-applicants, at least three months before the proposed date of the examinations.

Embassy Warns Filipinos Against Drug Smuggling, etc.

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(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

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(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

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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

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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

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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

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 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

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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

***

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