Dear OFWempowerment blog reader,
Sa mga kahanay po natin na mangingibang bansa sa TAIWAN, ang liham po na mababasa ninyo sa ibaba ay sulat tugon ni Atty. Josefino N. Naval ng POEA sa mga katanongan ng ating kahanay na OFW bound for Taiwan. Sana po ang liham na ito ay makapagbigay kaalaman sa ating mga kapwa OFWs na nais mag-trabaho sa Taiwan.
Ito po ang sulat ng ating OFWempowerment blog reader:
“good day sir, isa po akong aplikante para sa isang factory sa taiwan at kasalukuyang pinoproseso daw po ng agency ang aking mga papeles.ang concern ko po ay kung bakit di po sila nagbibigay ng resibo sa mga binayaran namin.tinanong ko po ung kahera kung wala talagang resibo nung nagbayad ako ng downpayment,ang sagot po niya ay “wala”.nangyayari rin po to sa mga kasama kong aplikante.Dapat po naming bayaran ang aabot P130,000 bago makaalis ng Pinas, kung saan nakasaad dun na 52k+ ang para sa placement fee;69k+ ang para sa refferals fee; medical; atbp…Ang pagkakaalam ko po ay maliban po sa placement fee na katumbas ng 1buwan sahod/ d lalagpas sa 45k na bayad ay wala na dapat bayaran sa mga agency, bakit po sila naniningil ng “refferal fee”?.kung para man ito sa mga brokers ng Taiwan, legal po ba yun? ang paghingi nila ng fee maliban sa buwanang babayaran pagdating sa Taiwan? Hindi ko pa po binabayaran ung halagang 130,000 kaya lang nag-aalala po ako kung tama lang po ba na ganun kalaki ung dapat kong bayaran? tama po bang di muna sila magbigay ng resibo hanggat di buo ung kabayaran? salamat po.”
Kami po ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat kay Atty. Josefino N. Naval (Chief of Staff) ng POEA sa agarang pagtugon ng aming liham. Siyanawa kayo po at ang inyong buong pamilya ay pagpalain ng poong maykapal.
June 7, 2011
Mr. Manuel A. Amora
Ito po ay hinggil sa mga katanungan ni “Lester of Beguet”.
1) Tama po ba na hindi muna sila magbigay ng resibo hanggat hindi buo ang kabayaran?
– Hindi po. Obligasyon po ng recruitment agency na kayo ay bigyan ng kaukulang resibo para sa inyo pong binabayaran at kinakailangang nakasulat sa resibo ang halaga ng inyong ibinayad at “purpose” ng pagbabayad. Marapat na kayo po ay humingi ng kaukulang resibo sa bawat halaga na inyong ibinabayad sa recruitment agency.
2) Hindi ko po binabayaran ang halagang Php 130,000.00 kaya lang nag aalala po ako kung tama po ba na ganon kalaki ang dapat kong bayaran?
– Ang kabuuang halaga na dapat ninyong bayaran ay hindi lalagpas sa Php 46,000.00 o maximum na po ang Php 47,000.00, depende sa exchange rate ng inyong one-month salary. Ang halaga pong ito ay binubuo ng katumbas ng inyong isang (1) buwang sahod bilang placement fee, at ang mga pre-departure expenses (tulad ng medical examination fee, Philhealth, OWWA membership fee, POEA processing fee, etc.) para sa isang OFW magtatrabaho sa Taiwan. Hindi po tama ang Php 52,000.00 bilang placement fee na sinisingil sa inyo.
Ang “referral fee” po ay hindi kasama sa mga legal na bayarin ng Taiwan-bound OFW at ang broker’s fee po ay hindi minsanang binabayaran bagkus ay may schedule of payments na nakatakda sa pagbabayad nito.
Sa pamamagitan po ng aming tugon sa mga katanungan ni “Lester of Beguet” kami po ay umaasa na nakapagbigay linaw sa kanyang mga nais malaman.
Lubos na gumagalang,
ATTY. JOSEFINO N. NAVAL (Chief of Staff)
June 7, 2011 – A Migrant Workers Day Blog Post
What are the difference between Section 19 of R.A. 8042 and Section 12 of R.A. 8042 as Amended (R.A. 10022)? and – Who is responsible for the repatriation of OFW in Distressed?
A: ESTABLISHMENT OF A MIGRANT WORKERS AND OTHER OVERSEAS (OFRC or FWRC) FILIPINOS RESOURCE CENTER
R.A. 8042 Sec. 19 (Second Paragraph)
The establishment and operations of the Center shall be a joint undertaking of the various government agencies. The Center shall be open for twenty-four (24) hours daily, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and shall be staffed by Foreign Service personnel, service attaches or officers who represent other organizations from the host countries. In countries categorized as highly problematic by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment and where there is a concentration of Filipino migrant workers, the government must provide a lawyer and a social worker for the Center. The Labor Attache shall coordinate the operation of the Center and shall keep the Chief of Mission informed and updated on all matters affecting it.
REPUBLIC ACT No. 8042 as AMENDED (R.A. 10022), Sec. 12
Section 12. The second paragraph of Sec. 19 of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:
“The establishment and operations of the Center shall be a joint undertaking of the various government agencies. The Center shall be open for twenty-four (24) hours daily including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and shall be staffed by Foreign Service personnel, service attaches or officers who represent other Philippine government agencies abroad and, if available, individual volunteers and bona fide non-government organizations from the host countries. In countries categorized as highly problematic by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment and where there is a concentration of Filipino migrant workers, the government must provide a Sharia or human rights lawyer, a psychologist and a social worker for the Center. In addition to these personnel, the government must also hire within the receiving country, in such number as may be needed by the post, public relation officers or case officers who are conversant, orally and in writing, with the local language, laws, customs and practices. The Labor Attache shall coordinate the operation of the Center and shall keep the Chief of Mission informed and updated on all matters affecting it.”
B: FWRC or Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh re: ADMISSION POLICIES
2) Upon admission, the HSW is oriented on BK House Rules and is informed of amicable settlement and repatriation procedures through the services of the Philippine Embassy/POLO-OWWA and the Saudi Social Welfare Administration (SSWA).
3) The shelter does not admit HSWs who have long stayed with other employers or with fellow Filipinos after running away from their sponsors (so-called TNTs), but shall help them get endorsed to SSWA for clearance and exit visa procedures.
4) In specific cases, TNTs may be admitted with the written endorsement of the Embassy. Such cases include trafficked victims.
5) Those admitted are not allowed to work for other employers.
6) Those who were previously admitted but subsequently ran away from the shelter are not re-admitted.
Part of the assistance provided the wards at the FWRC is their endorsement to the Social Welfare Administration (SSWA) of the Saudi government within a reasonable period of time after mediation efforts by POLO case officers fail.
Counselling – POLO-OWWA Riyadh provides counselling to OFWs who get in touch in person or by phone with POLO-OWWA officers for various queries related to their employment and stay in Saudi Arabia.
Repatriation Assistance – Repatriation services include negotiations with the employer, police and/or immigration authorities; plane ticket sourcing; booking and re-booking facilitation and airport assistance in Riyadh and in Manila.
C: Who is responsible for the repatriation of OFW in Distressed
Under normal circumstances, it is the joint responsibility of the employer, the Philippine recruitment agency and the Saudi manpower agency (if there is any) to repatriate the OFW pursuant to provisions of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended by Republic Act 10022. In case the employer and/or the agency is unable to repatriate the worker, the Philippine government through the OWWA in case of regular/documented worker or the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in case of irregular/undocumented worker– shall repatriate the distressed worker upon request of POLO or the Philippine Embassy.
The POLO does not maintain a stand-by fund for the repatriation of workers. Prior approval by either OWWA or DFA is required for this purpose on a case-to-case basis.
R.A. 8042, SEC. 15. REPATRIATION OF WORKERS; EMERGENCY REPATRIATION FUND. – The repatriation of the worker and the transport of his personal belongings shall be the primary responsibility of the agency which recruited or deployed the worker overseas. All costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by or charged to the agency concerned and/or its principal. Likewise, the repatriation of remains and transport of the personal belongings of a deceased worker and all costs attendant thereto shall be borne by the principal and/or local agency. However, in cases where the termination of employment is due solely to the fault of the worker, the principal/employer or agency shall not in any manner be responsible for the repatriation of the former and/or his belongings.
OWWA/June 3, 2011 – The Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and its attached agencies will be celebrating its 1st NATIONAL CONGRESS OF OFWs AND FAMILIES on June 7, Tuesday at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City. This momentous event falls on Migrant Workers Day, the special day made for the Filipino overseas workers.
The National Congress of OFWs and Families aims to convene OFWs and families, and other stakeholders to draw up recommendations for program development and policy direction in fostering OFW sector development, and to develop a mechanism in the implementation of the billion-peso reintegration program for enterprise development of OFWs.
The event’s highlight will be the launching of the 2 Billion Pesos Reintegration Program. This is a joint venture of the DOLE, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines. The program offers different enterprises, flexible and easy loan term payments for its OFW availees. This is in support of the president’s desire to give sustainable businesses to the OFWs and their families.
The event will also showcase exhibits of products and services of former OFWs and Overseas Filipino Circles (OFCs) who have previously availed of the reintegration programs and financial and technical assistances offered by the OWWA.
The event will also feature the presentation of the OFW Manifesto which underscores the needs and concerns of the OFWs and their families. The Manifesto was drafted from the accumulated reports of the Regional Congress of the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices.
The attendees of the event are the OFWs, their families, the OFCs, the social partners, the media and some distinguished guests.
OWWA organized this event in celebration of the national Migrant Workers Day.
Fakieh did not say when the decision would be implemented or whether it would be applied to all foreign workers or to specific jobs.
Unemployment among nationals in the kingdom, which sits on more than a fifth of global oil reserves and is the world’s biggest oil exporter, is currently 10.5 percent, he said, adding that 28 percent of the unemployed were women and 40 percent high school graduates.
Fakieh said there were currently eight million foreign workers in the kingdom of whom six million work in the private sector. Remittances from foreign workers total 100 billion riyals ($27 billion) a year, he said.
Saudi Arabia does not regularly publish data on unemployment, a sensitive issue since it highlights fissures in wealth distribution in the absolute monarchy with no elected parliament, where newspapers tend to carry the official line.
King Abdullah offered Saudis $93 billion in handouts in March to stave off unrest of the kind rocking other parts of the Arab world. This followed a $37 billion package announced in February in an initial move to ease social tensions.
Despite its wealth, unemployment in the Gulf Arab state has risen as an outdated school system focused on religion and the Arabic language produces graduates who have difficulty finding jobs with private firms.
Companies favour workers from Asia, prepared to work long hours for low salaries, or well-paid foreign experts.
Many Saudis work in the public sector but, in contrast to other Gulf oil producers such as Kuwait, citizens do not automatically get a job because of the rapidly rising population, which now stands at almost 19 million.
In 1994 the government began a “Saudisation” plan, setting quotas for the number of nationals private firms must hire. The programme failed to achieve a significant increase in the participation of nationals in the private sector, where Saudis still account for only 10 percent of employees.
Almost 70 percent of Saudis are under the age of 30, and the population is increasing by around 2.4 percent annually.
In an attempt to create thousands of new jobs and diversify its oil-dominated economy, Saudi Arabia launched a $400 billion five-year spending plan in 2008, the largest stimulus relative to gross domestic product among the world’s 20 leading nations. (Reporting by Jason Benham, editing by Tim Pearce: REUTERS/ May 30, 2011 at 14:02 )
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office is conducting a series of forum for three consecutive Friday’s starting this coming 27th of May, to be followed on the 3rd of June and 17th of June 2011 respectively at POLO OFW Leaders Lounge inside the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh.
The mentioned forum called Overseas Labor Education Program or OLEP is a noteworthy initiative by then former POLO Labor Attaché Resty Dela Fuente who is currently posted as Labor Attaché in Brussels, Belgium.
In an email sent by POLO Central Region Operations-Welfare Officer Atty. Cesar Chavez the OLEP which is at present dubbed as “OLEP Plus” (Overseas Labor Education Program for Community Leaders) is a program that will give OFWs relevant information and know-how about the host country, its labor laws and its culture and OFWs rights, obligations and privileges as well, recognized by the host country.
POLO/OWWA OLEP Plus, under the mentorship of POLO WelOff Atty. Cesar Chavez is at present designed that consist the following program outline: Basic Community Leadership; Guide on the Salient Provisions of the New Saudi Labor Law; How to assist and handling Distress Calls; Family Law on Support; Trafficking in Person, Money Laundering; RA 10022; Workshop and others.
OLEP Plus ensures the use of common reference and provides correct information to OFWs seeking advice from fellow OFWs.
While human smuggling is the talk of the town allegedly carried out by some POLO officials in Kuwait, the Filipino Community in Saudi Arabia still have very much confidence with our Labor officials particularly in Riyadh and Al Khobar.
OLEP Plus include ground rules of human trafficking and hopefully the “Waiver Policy” at Bahay Kalinga will continue to be enforced to prevent devious officials in releasing or transferring an OFW in distress from one employer to another in exchange for monetary consideration.
The BK “Waiver Policy” also ensures that our ran away female OFWs are protected from further harm done by fellow Filipinos who took advantage of their unfortunate situation.
See you at OLEP Plus! – (BongA)
Filipino community leaders in Dubai come up with 50-page safety awareness book with tips outlining how compatriots new to the UAE can stay out of trouble.
DUBAI: Sex outside marriage could land you in big trouble. Avoid kissing in public. Don’t think that your debts are cancelled after you spend time in jail for bouncing a cheque. Don’t eat or drink in public during the fasting hours of Ramadan.
These are simple yet firm reminders Filipinos new to the country will get from a “safety awareness booklet” to curb the number of compatriots landing in trouble for being on the wrong side of UAE laws, a community leader said.
The 50-page booklet is being prepared by Filcom, a group of over 50 Filipino community leaders in Dubai and the northern emirates. “It’s a simple and easy to understand guide to remind our ‘kabayans’ [compatriots] about how to behave and take responsibility for their actions while in the UAE,” Lisa Magno Concepcion, President of Filcom, said.
The passport-size handbook is the latest attempt by the Filipino community to communicate dos and don’ts to the estimated 400,000 compatriots in Dubai. According to Concepcion, around 10,000 copies will be printed initially and distributed for free on June 10, two days ahead of celebrations marking the 113th Philippine Independence Day.
The guide also deals with illicit relations and potential punishments and also offers home safety tips. “Couples who live together outside marriage are unaware that it is illegal here.” Many are also unaware that the way they dress could also invite trouble,” she said, adding a lot of Filipinos mistakenly think their debts are written off after they are jailed over non-payment of bank loans. “But in truth, you still owe the bank which can file a civil case until the amount is paid in full.”
The bilingual handbook (Tagalog and English), click here >>>>>>>>>to read more.
AFTTA and KACST Filipino employees united to promote Sports
Riyadh, 14 May 2011 – All Filipino Table Tennis Association popularly known in the Filipino sports activities in Riyadh as AFTTA and the Filipino employees of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology-KACST united to promote sports among the Filipino Community in the area.
AFTTA is a Filipino Table Tennis sports organization in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with more than a hundred members. Table Tennis is the main activity of the group and each year has held four seasonal tournaments and four non-level or invitational tournament.
New AFTTA members belong to the Filipino community working in KACST, a Saudi government institution offered the compound’s recreation center to be the new home of AFTTA.
The gesture was appreciated by the group in a meeting held last Friday, 13 May 2011 at KACST recreation center. AFTTA President Vic Delos Santos was thankful to KACST management and Filipino employees in their desire to promote table tennis as productive activity in the community. “This will not only give the body physically fit but a healthy diversion to ease homesickness.” Delos Santos added. He also emphasized that AFTTA is purely a sport organization and should not be used in any political agenda.
Bong Amora who represent KACST employees in the meeting, explained to the group to respect the security measures by KACST’s security management especially entering the compound and only members of AFTTA are allowed to enjoy the recreation facilities.“Promoting camaraderie among table tennis enthusiasts is not only that matters but in order to become a model expatriate to the host country, everyone should respect the authority, be disciplined and have self control, these are basic ways to master the sport of their choice and to excel at the job”, Amora said.
AFTTA’s 2010 officers are President Vic Delos Santos; Vice-President / Administrator Willie Venzon; Officer, Tournament Affairs Val Tomas; Deputy, Tournament Affairs Ariel Mauyao; OFFICERS: Ways & Means Bong Tolosa; Finance Officer Romy Gripo; Muslim Affairs Coordinator Faisal Pandi; Artist / Media Affairs Coordinator Junior Ebro; Head Coach / Training & Development Ronnie Apostol; Technical Adviser Boy Marcelo; House Rules Adviser Bong Amora.
The group is planning to host invitational tournament this year and will also participate in other group’s table tennis tournament particularly those to be held in Dammam, Al Khobar and Jeddah. – BongA
ArabNews Editorial: Saudization plan
Wielding the stick does not work when employers know they can find a way out
It is refreshing to hear Labor Minister Adel Fakieh stating a few home truths about Saudization — that the number of unemployed is probably higher than the official figures, that the number of expatriates in the Kingdom is in fact growing at double the Saudi population growth rate and that, so far, Saudization had not worked.
Saudization is crucial to the well-being of the country. Jobs have to be found to meet the aspirations of the growing population. If they are not, the consequences could be dire.
The harsh truth is that Saudization has been an abject failure. Despite two decades of government campaigns, companies in the private sector continue to employ foreigners rather than Saudis — indeed do so in ever increasing numbers.
That is because expatriates are far cheaper to employ than Saudis. They can also be sacked easily. There is an issue too about Saudis’ work ethic. There may be plenty of voices protesting that Saudis are as dedicated workers as anyone else, but there is an undeniable problem. If there were not, why are there Saudi companies that refuse to employ Saudis? (Saudi men, that is; Saudi women are welcome.) Or employ them so that the numbers look right on the books, but tell them to stay at home? It happens. read more>>>>>
Online News, A year Ago – New Rules for Foreign Workers in Saudi Arabia
This online news was posted a year ago. I want to share this news to our readers, for them to be enlightened about the rumors of a “new rules for Foreign Workers” in the Kingdom that they heard around the expatriates community.
Please note that there was no ban or law issued by the Saudi government for expats not to return (come back) to KSA after a clearance or EXIT was issued to them by their employers. If an expat has a good employee-employer relation and decide to apply for an EXIT and the employer approve the request; and clear the expat from all monetary obligations plus an employment certificate, expatriate can come back to KSA with new employer and can work in other GCC countries as well.
Transfer of Sponsorhip (online news below) means – a worker who transfer from one (original) employer to another (new) employer. The worker during the transfer must be still/within the Kingdom. The other term for Transfer of Sponsorphip is Transferrable Iqama.
Please read below online news with link:
Foreign workers in the Kingdom are now required to wait two years to transfer sponsorship to a new employer.
On March 24, the Labor Ministry announced that expatriates will have to work a minimum of two years with their current employer in order to get the approval for their sponsorship to be transfer to another. Until recently, workers were able to change jobs after six months with their employers’ consent. (Ministry of Labor Resolution 730/1 dated 29/3/1431 H).
This extension in waiting periods, enforced since April 15, aims to stabilize employer-employee relations and reduce negative impact expat movements were having in the job market.
“Some companies recruit workers in order to transfer their services to others. This practice had a negative impact on employment of Saudis,” said Abdul Rahman Al-Bawaridi, deputy minister for labor affairs. read more>>>>>
Re-entry to any GCC Countries:
العودة إلى أي من دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي:
Employees convicted of any violations in any of the GCC countries which includes violations of any labor or immigrations rules, will not be permitted to re-enter ANY GCC Country. Example : Employees going on vacation and not returning and then trying to re-enter another GCC country will be banned.
الموظفين المدانون بإرتكاب أي مخالفة في أي من دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي و التي تتضمن مخالفة أي من قوانين العمل أو الهجرة , لن يسمح لهم بالعودة لأي دولة من دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي. على سبيل المثال : الموظفون المغادرون في إجازة ولايعودوا, وثم يحاولون العودة إلى دولة أخرى من دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي سوف يتم منعهم.