Tidbits – 1 Yr. Ban (KSA and UAE)


Saudi Arabia

Fellow OFWs  leave comments in our blog  asking  if the (1) one year ban they heard circulating around the expatriate community in the Kingdom for quite a time now is true or not.

In my reply(ies), I always emphasized to our commenters/readers  that I don’t read any documents such as Saudi government memo that could  prove  of  a 1 year  ban  for those expatriates who wishes to return back to the Kingdom.

King Khaled Int'l. Airport - Riyadh, KSA

With regards to the issue about NOC (No Objection Certificate), I always give emphasis in my replies that  it is very clear in the New Saudi Labor Law that, the employer may put in a condition that the worker  shall not, after the termination of the contract, compete with him or divulge his secrets to another and    in order for the conditions to be valid,  it must be written and defined, in time, place, kind of work and within the necessity to protect the legal interests of the employer (see SLL Art. 83).

It further says that the new law annuls the provisions that conflicts with it (see SLL Art. 244);  

and lastly, it states in SLL-Art. 8  that – any waiver or settlement regarding the rights of the workman originating from this law during the validity of the contract, are considered void, unless it is more beneficial for the workman.

Note:  Please note that your passport is still subject for visa stamping with Saudi Royal Embassy  in our country. Therefore, if  an OFW  is having existing problem in the Kingdom or he/she is ban to enter the Kingdom then visa stamping is denied.  

Today, I went to our Personnel Department and  inquire whether there is a labor policy or a memorandum from the Labor Ministry imposing such ban.  Well, as I found out there was really a government order issued by the Ministry of Labor but not for those expatriates who left the Kingdom with clean hands.  It means – you exited the Kingdom without violating its laws,  that includes good relationship with your previous employer.  

But  watch out – to those who have exit and re-entry visa who did not return back to the Kingdom and have plan to come back with new employer, please  “DO NOT”  because you are going to be apprehended by the Saudi authorities in the immigration.  

United Arab Emirates

UAE Airport - Dubai

United Arab Emirates or UAE that includes Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other member emirates continuously imposed a one year labor ban for expatriates who breaks the terms of their labor contract with the said country. Some other reasons or conditions of the ban are those expatriate workers leaving government jobs, expats who lose a case with the UAE labor ministry against their employer, expatriates who leave their job before the completion of their employment contract and expats who starts a work stoppage, or instigates or participates in such acts.

The good news, UAE’s  Federal Supreme Court last week ruled that companies cannot slap a fresh ban on former workers after their old ban expires.

The law allows workers to re-enter the country using a new visa after the end of the first ban, the court said. The ruling came following a case filed by an Indian foreman, 29, against a contracting company where he worked for seven years.

According to the employee, his employer terminated his service because he demanded an increase in salary. The employer then cancelled his residency and imposed a one-year ban on him from the Department of Naturalization and Residency. He was later deported to his country.

After the expiry of the ban, a maintenance firm issued an employment permit for him through which he entered the country and passed the iris scan test.  read more >>>> No fresh entry ban after the first one expires

SAUDI’s are basically good at heart


It is just like, all Germans are as bad as Adolf Hitler,  but we know they are not.

People have wrong idea about  Saudi’s  because of  what we heard and read;  but to tell you frankly SAUDI’s are basically good at heart.  – Bong Amora

***

Marilou Lorenzo Ramirez with her sponsor Khaled A. Abdul Qader, Philippine Labor Attaché David Des T. Dicang and two nurse escorts at the King Fahd International Airport in Dammam on Saturday. (AN photo by Sadeq Al-Ahmad)

ALKHOBAR: Although there have been many cases of housemaid abuse reported over the years, a vast number of household helpers across the Kingdom are treated like family members.

Such is the case of Marilou Lorenzo Ramirez who likely will lead a longer life thanks to the generosity and concern of her Saudi employer.

The 41-year-old housemaid was hired in the Philippines two years ago by Khaled A. Abdul Qader, a senior planner at Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) in Jubail. Ramirez worked in the household for a year and won the hearts of Abdul Qader’s family with her dedication and hard work.

Five months ago, a brain hemorrhage paralyzed Ramirez. Abdul Qader first took her to Al-Mouwasat Hospital where he bore the complete costs of her treatment. Realizing the gravity of her illness, Abdul Qader requested the Ministry of Health to get her treated at a government-run hospital.

read more>>>>> 

PhilEmb should take Bashir Ayob into their custody


PhilEmb should take  Welfare Officer Bashir Ayob into their custody pending investigation on his case by Saudi authorities.

Bashir Ayob is an acquaintance way back  2007 and as a Filipino community leader whenever I asked for a status about Filipina runaways in the custody of Bahay Kalinga, he was always available in the other line every time I called.

WelOf Bashir Ayob (wearing black t-shirt) next to WelOf Umag during our visit to Bahay Kalinga distributing goods for our Female distressed OFWS.

Mr. Bashir Ayob is a welfare officer assisting overseas Filipino workers in distress in Saudi Arabia particularly in Riyadh. He is assigned at Bahay Kalinga as officer in-charge whose job includes follow up status of cases of our Filipina distressed OFWs at the Saudi Welfare Administration or SWA, a   female deportation shelter run by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Bashir as well is  the only one allowed to handle the processing of exit visas for those Filipina distressed OFWs finally scheduled to leave the Kingdom.

[If an undocumented Filipina worker is caught by the Saudi authorities, she will be sent to SWA where she will stay for 60 days or more, depending on her case and cooperation of her employers. If Philippine mission in KSA was the one who first found the Filipina worker in distressed, she will be in the custody of Bahay Kalinga until such time that distressed OFW will be forwarded or transferred  to SWA for deportation schedule.]

Now my friend Bashir is needing an urgent help not only from the Government that he served for 17 years (1993 with POLO/OWWA) but also to Filipino Community leaders who knows him well as an OFW servant  who is always there in time they need information and whereabouts of Filipina runaways.

Bashir started to work in 1980 as a contractual employee with our Philippine Embassy.

Bashir on June 12 while performing his duty at the Deportation office (SSWA) to process an exit visa for a Filipina cancer patient, he was arrested and held incommunicado up to this writing without any charges.

It was later known that he was arrested over the death of a woman on May 22, 2010 on which his name was mentioned as the one who brought a pregnant woman believed died of massive bleeding.  But according to Al Shumeissy Hospital the husband was the one who brought the bleeding pregnant woman at the hospital. However, there was no record that could prove it was not Bashir but the husband brought the woman to the mentioned hospital.

Janet the wife of Bashir cries for help and believed that his husband is a fall guy and alleges that powerful Saudi officials are behind his continued detention even in the absence of formal charges against him. Janet, a 39-year-old nurse, joined Bashir in Riyadh in 2003. They have a five-year-old son.

Upon hearing, the ordeal of our friend Bashir Ayob, the OFW Congress-Riyadh is requesting our Philippine Embassy to exert their best effort to take custody of Bashir pending the outcome of the investigation. So with the OUMWA (Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs) to immediately release the SR 50,000 needed for attorney’s fees.

Many of our less unfortunate Filipina runaways and distressed OFWs, to proved (3) three of them were fellow town mates of this blogger are now in the Philippines. Bashir Ayob facilitated the immediate processing of their deportation documents. In relation to this, I personally appeal to our government especially to our dear President Noynoy Aquino for the immediate release of the legal assistance fund under Section 18, Section No. 25 of Republic Act. 8042, as amended in order to provide the necessary lawyer in defense to the case of Welfare Officer Bashir Ayob.

The last time I talked with Bashir was last January when I inquire about the status of my runaway townmate (Filipina Domestic Helper now in Manila) who was maltreated and abused by her employer.  He was happy at that time informing me that he  might be posted soon in Dubai, unfortunately he was now posted at Deraa Police Station behind bars.

PCG Advisories


New Labor law in the offing…..


New Labor law in the offing…..

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor unveiled a new bill that would unify contracts in the private sector along with a set of measures that are to be implemented in the future. The new set of measures aims to address workplace relations between the employee and the employer in the private sector.

The ministry’s new measures will focus on reducing labor disputes in the workplace, especially on payment issues. It will also address issues pertaining to job transfers, especially with regard to an employee seeking to change jobs.

Abangan!

The ministry also emphasized that the employment contract has to be made in duplicate with each party retaining a copy of the contract. The Ministry of Labor also said the new measures would include the caveat that no owner of a private sector company in Saudi Arabia’s shall be able to terminate an employee from service due to health problems. Also, the employees can now combine their annual leave to their sick leave.

Business owners will now be required to furnish their employees and workers the termination letter before the actual firing occurs. No owner shall transfer their employees to another location without the employee’s prior knowledge unless it is expressly written into the contract and signed by both parties.

The new bill states that an employee has the right to leave the job if there are any contractual violations, if the employer fails to pay the employee’s salary or subjects a worker to abuse.

Some measures are aimed at streamlining payment of salaries. The Ministry of Labor now states that an employer shall not change their employee’s status from a monthly-based salary to an hourly or daily wage without the employee’s agreement.

The bill also affirms the business owner’s rights to terminate the contract of their workers without compensation in cases of assault or fraud. Employers can terminate employees for disclosing company secrets.

By SULTAN AL-TAMIMI | ARAB NEWS

Published: Jul 9, 2010 23:14 Updated: Jul 9, 2010 23:14

No Gay, No Employment Policy


Tunay na naging mainit sa nagdaang buwan ang usapin tungkol sa deployment ng mga Filipinos na nasa kuwadra ng mga homosexuals pagkatapos lumabas ang recruitment directive na pinadala ng Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia sa mga employment recruiting agencies sa Manila. At kasabay nito, naging mainit din ang naging mga paalala at tagubilin ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno at sanggunian ng Pilipinas tulad na lamang ng Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) sa mainit na isyung ito.

"Aminin"

Sa nakaraang personal na pagbisita ng manunulat sa tanggapan ni G. Mario Tuscan N. Nas, Chief ng Balik Manggagawa Processing Division (Department of Labor & Employment), napag-alaman na matindi ang ginagawa nilang mga paalala sa mga kababayang bading lalu na yung mga bagito na tunay na mag-ingat at igalang ang batas ng Kaharian sa isyu ng kabaklaan. Ayon kay G. Nas, walang tigil ang kanilang mga pagpapa-alala kahit sa mga datihang OFWs na kabilang sa third sex na lubusang sundin ang mga kalakaran ng Kaharian para hindi maharap sa mga problemang moral at malagay sa balag ng alanganin. At kung hindi man makakasunod sa batas na umiiiral ay mabuting huwag nang dumiretso pa sa pagpunta para magtrabaho sa Kaharian ng Saudi Arabia.

Sa ilang ginawang pagbisita sa mga recruiting agencies na tumangging magpalathala ng pangalan, napag-alaman na tunay na sumusunod sila sa “no gay, no employment policy” dahil ayaw nilang magkaproblema sa kanilang relasyon sa Kaharian at maiwasan ang pagbulusok ng kanilang revenue, kasabay din sa kanilang pagprotekta sa kapakanan ng mga Pinoy na kasama sa third sex lalu’t alam nila ang kasalukuyang batas. Isa sa pinagpapasalamat ng mga naturang recruiting agencies ay ang hindi pagkakaroon ng “clampdown” sa mga datihang OFW gays dahil kung mangyayari ito, tunay ding mabubusisi kung saan nga bang recruiting agencies sila umalis papuntang Kaharian.

Sa umiinit na kaganapan, ang tunay na nasapol at tinatamaan ng naturang recruitment directive ay ang mga homosexuals na lantaran ang pagiging bading. Isa sa hindi maitatatwang katotohanan ay tunay namang napakahirap matukoy kung sino nga ba ang bading (at hindi) sa gitna ng mga Pinoy gays bunsod sa bagong kalakaran (gay trend) sa makabagong henerasyon nang mga bading kung saan mas gusto nilang mgmukhang mga tunay na lalaki dahil ayon sa kanila ito ngayon ang uso.

Samantala, ayon naman sa ilang grupo ng mga bading na nagpahayag nang kanilang punto de vista, kanilang sinabi na hindi naman lahat talaga ng bading na Pinoy ay mga “sakit ng ulo” ng Kaharian lalu na’t marami sa kanilang bilang ay naghahangad lamang na makapagtrabaho sa kanilang mga piniling propesyon at kumita ng pera para matugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng kanilang mga naiwang pamilya. At para naman sa kapuwa nila bading na lantaran ang pagpapakita ng kanilang pagkatao sa napaka-konserbatibong lipunan ng Kaharian, ang tangi nilang hiling ay huwag lamang sariling kapakanan, ‘kalandian’ at kagustuhahan ang isipin bagkus ang kapakanan, reputasyon at magandang hangarin ng lubos na nakakarami na maaaring tuluyang maapektuhan. – (J. Nava Cruz, an OFW, is a writer-documentarist. E-mail at bashamel007@yahoo.com)

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sun 4th July 2010, J. Nava Cruz Saudi Arabia

MY PRESIDENT


SAMA SAMA NATING ITULOY ANG LABAN!

JUNE 30, 2010

Today is Noynoy Aquino’s inauguration day as the new President of the Philippine Republic. It is not only an occasion of victory but it is Noynoy’s most sacred oath, a dedication and consecration under God to the highest office in service of the Filipino people.

Now, the ever-increasing burdens are in his shoulder, the Filipino people has spoken, giving him the mandate for a real change.

Nevertheless, WE, the Filipino people have contributed to the recovery and progress of the nation. The recent election proves that democracy works and Noynoy’s victory has given a renewed hope and courage to all who have faith in government. But we should keep an eye on him, his action, especially the people that surrounds him, in other words we will guard him from the devil’s whispers and the wicked hands.

Today is a very important day, I am proud to be part of the new era of Philippine democracy, I am so proud I voted Noynoy as My President.

In his tenure….

My President…

WILL re-establish the vigor and effectiveness of law enforcement and entire machinery of justice, the redistribution of its functions, the simplification of its procedure, the better selection of judges, and the more effective organization of our agencies of investigation and prosecution that justice may be sure and that it may be swift. Reform, reorganization and strengthening the whole judicial and enforcement system, both in civil and criminal system.

My President in his tenure WILL … read more

Amended R.A.’s signed by the out-going President


AMENDED REPUBLIC ACTS SIGNED BY THE OUT-GOING PRESIDENT

14th Congress

(From June 17,  2008 to March 17, 2010)

S U M M A R Y

  • · RA 9504 – Amendments to the Individual Income Tax
  • · RA 9505 – Establishing the Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA)
  • · RA 9501 – Amendments to the Magna Carta for Small and Medium 
  • · RA 9500 – Amendments to UP Charter 
  • · RA 9510 – Credit Information System Act
  • · RA 9511 – National Grid Corporation
  • · RA 9513 – Proposed Framework for the Development of Renewable Energy
  • · RA 9520 – Amendments to the Cooperative Code of the Philippines
  • · RA 9576 – Amendments to the PDIC Charter
  • · RA 9593 – National Tourism Policy
  • · RA 9646 – Real Estate Service Authority
  • · RA 9648 – Exemption of Secondary Trading of Stocks from the Documentary Stamp Tax
  • · RA 9679 – Strengthening the Home Development Mutual Fund
  • · RA 9728 – Creation of Bataan Special Economic Zone
  • · RA 9729 – National Framework on Climate Change
  • · RA 9829 – Instituting a Pre-Need Code
  • · RA 9853 – Amendments to the Customs Brokers Act
  • · RA9856 – Real Estate Investment Trust
  • · RA9994 – Expanded Senior Citizens’ Act
  • · RA 10001 – Exemption from Documentary Stamp Tax and Premium Tax of Life Insurance
  • · RA 10021 – Exchange of Information on Tax Matters Act
  • · RA 10026 – Income Tax Exemption of Local water Districts
  • · RA 9996 – Mindanao Economic Development Authority – February 17, 2010
  • · RA 9999 – Free Legal Assistance – February 23, 2010
  • · RA 10022 – Migrant Workers – March 8, 2010

For the  amended features or text of the law,  read more>>>>>>>> 

Want to read important Philippine Laws? Please click  image below…. 

The LABOR CODE of the Republic of the Philippines ( click for full text )

Regulating Recruitment Agencies in the Philippines


Costs of Private Recruitment Agencies for Migrant Labor Sometimes Outweigh Benefits, MPI Study of Philippines-UAE Corridor Finds

WASHINGTON —Private recruitment agencies manage much of the flow of the 200,000 Filipino workers who head annually to the United Arab Emirates, which is the third-largest destination for Filipino migrants after the United States and Saudi Arabia.

While the recruitment agencies, which are located in the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates, provide critical services such as logistical support and information about visa policies and living and working conditions, some abuse their clients by charging exorbitant fees or violating basic human rights.

In a new report, Migration’s Middlemen: Regulating Recruitment Agencies in the Philippines-United Arab Emirates Corridor, the Migration Policy Institute examines the recruiters’ practices as well as their regulation by the Philippine and UAE governments, finding room for significant improvement.

“While the two governments have regulated recruitment agencies’ operations for nearly three decades, there is a policy mismatch between the two regulatory systems that, coupled with difficulties in enforcing regulations, has led to inadequate protections for migrant workers as well as a continuing flow of unauthorized workers,” said the report’s author, MPI Policy Analyst Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias.

The result is a three-tier labor migration system for the nearly 600,000 Filipinos working in the United Arab Emirates (and comprising close to 12 percent of the UAE population):

  • A documented and organized labor migration based on written contracts following strict regulatory guidelines of both countries.
  • A labor flow based on shifting arrangements that typically result in a lower wage, a different job, and reduced benefits compared to those originally promised to migrant workers by recruiters.
  • An unregulated, unauthorized flow of workers who bypass the recruitment system altogether and migrate to the United Arab Emirates with a visitor visa.

The report was informed by 44 in-depth interviews with government, recruitment agency, employer, and NGO officials in the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines, as well as focus group discussions with 86 Filipino migrant workers in Dubai and Manila.

Click Cover Book for the full report

While both countries are considering more stringent regulations for recruitment agencies, the report cautions that both governments must first commit to fully funding and creating capable and effective institutions to jointly harmonize, enforce, and closely monitor the impact of current and new regulations. “Otherwise, regulatory changes could open the door to unintended effects, including increasing abuse and corruption and making illegal channels more attractive for prospective migrants,” Agunias said.

Kathleen Newland, who directs MPI’s Migrants, Migration, and Development Program, said: “The findings of this study are relevant beyond the Philippines-UAE corridor. They serve as a vital point of reference for other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere as they attempt to balance the need to create a flexible and dynamic labor migration system with the obligation to protect workers’ welfare in an increasingly transnational and interconnected global economy.”

The report also makes the case for new initiatives to empower migrants – who fill jobs as domestic workers, engineers, office assistants, and nurses, among other occupations – including a core set of rights and meaningful mechanisms for representation.

The report is available at www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/FilipinoRecruitment-June2010.pdf.

###

The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels.

OWWA honors outstanding OFWs of Eastern Visayas


Tacloban City (June 9) — The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Region 8 led by Director Juliet Tan, spearheaded this year’s Migrant Workers Day celebration dubbed as “Araw ng Pasasalamat.”

Conducted on June 7 at the Robinsons Place, the whole day Araw ng Pasasalamat which revolved around the theme: “OFWs: Tagumpay sa Hamon ng Panahon, Kaagapay sa Pagsulong,” was highlighted by the awarding of prizes to this year’s Outstanding OFWs of Eastern Visayas.

The outstanding Overseas Filipino Workers Award is divided into two categories namely, the landbased and the seabased migrant workers.

In the landbased category, there were three awardees, OIC Tan said. They are Alex V. Bello, Engracio B. Custodio, and Rafael Tolibas.

OFW Alex Veloso Bello (during FIlCom Meeting in Riyadh)

Alex V. Bello is an accountant from Imelda Village, Tacloban City who is currently at the jobsite at Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Bello is the president of the OFW Congress in Riyadh. He initiated the raising of a big amount of money from the OFWs for the Guinsaugon Landslide victims in Southern Leyte through the Secretary of Labor Marianito Roque to OWWA.

Engracio B. Custodio is a plant operator from Sulangan, Guiuan, Eastern Samar, who is now employed at Commonwealth Utilities Corporation in Saipan. He is the founder of the Human Dignity Movement in Saipan which advocates human rights as its main concern. He promoted fair treatment, improvement of status and increase in minimum wage of OFWs, organizing prayer rallies and submission of petitions.

He was given a certificate of appreciation for his skills, professionalism and dedication to his duties to the project that was successfully implemented.

Rafael Tolibas from Barangay Guingauan, Tanauan, Leyte, is the site foreman for Milwright of Consolidated Contractors International Company at Doha Qatar. He was appreciated and recognized by his employer for his dedication and commitment to work.

In the seabased category, this year’s outstanding OFWs are Rafael Apolinar, Francis E. Solvera, and Francis A. Ceballos.

Rafael Apolinar is an oiler from Barangay San Isidro, Palompon, Leyte. He is one of the distinguished company group called worthy Shellbacks. He helped in rescuing employees of a burning oil rig in Conga. His right hand was hit while disentangling the ropes to move out from the burning oil rig.

Francis Solvera, an oiler of the Bright Maritime Corporation’s M/T CM Spirit. This migrant worker from Barangay Cabalawan, Tacloban City is being cited for his bravery ? continuing to serve the foreign ship despite the traumatic experience of being hostaged by a group of pirates in Africa on May 13, 2009.

Francis Ceballos from PC Village, Tacloban City, is reefer repairman of Star Cruise who was cited as the Achiever of the Month by his company in appreciation of his outstanding effort and commitment to the pursuit of excellence.

OWWA 8 through OIC Tan also presented the Physically and Financially Challenged OFW to Olivia Badidles of San Jose, Tacloban City, who while serving as domestic helper in Singapore suffered from a disease called crytogenic liver cirrhosis.

The Most Senior Surviving OFW attendee award was presented to Juanita Llemos of Barangay Sulod, Basey, Samar who at 73 years of age, is a domestic helper in Hongkong. (PIA 8)

PIA Press Release/ 2010/06/09