PhilEmb Cautions OFWs


Press Release No. NNP-49/2006

Phil. Embassy in Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter

Phil. Embassy in Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter

PHILIPPINE EMBASSY IN RIYADH

ADVISES FILIPINOS IN SAUDI ARABIA

TO ABIDE BY THE LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS

AND TO REFRAIN FROM ENGAGING IN ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES

IN THE KINGDOM

Riyadh, 03 October 2006. – The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is advising Filipinos in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to abide by the laws, rules and regulations and to refrain from engaging in illegal activities in the Kingdom. The Embassy, in a statement, said that, as guests in the Kingdom, Filipinos and other migrant nationalities are not only expected, but are obliged to follow and respect the local laws and regulations being enforced.

This advisory is being issued by the Embassy, after it determined that there are one hundred forty-seven (147) male Filipinos who were in detention for various offenses, in ten (10) different jails under the jurisdiction of the Embassy, as of the beginning of September 2006.

Similarly, the Embassy also determined that there were one hundred nine (109) female Filipino citizens being detained at Al Nisa Women’s Jail at the end of September 2006, also for various offenses, for a total of two hundred fifty six (256) Filipino detainees, down from 337 in August 2006.

Most common offenses committed by the Filipinos are: alcohol-related offenses, immorality, gambling (cockfighting and other forms of gambling), drug-related offenses, embezzlement and forgery. It is considered not only immoral, but also illegal, for men and women, in particular unmarried couples, to be seen together shopping or eating in a restaurant.

Aside from visiting, monitoring and extending assistance to the two hundred fifty six (256) detained Filipinos, there were seventy-one (71) female domestic helpers in the Embassy’s Bahay Kalinga (BK), compared to 175 in June this year, whom the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) of the Embassy is also assisting.

As far as the Filipino workers at Bahay Kalinga is concerned, the Embassy wishes to express sincere appreciation for the assistance extended by some Filipino community organizations (e.g. Tulong at Pag-asa sa OFW or TUPA, ANCOP/GAWAD KALINGA, Born Again Community, etc.) for providing airline tickets, food, basic necessities, etc. to the Filipinos thereat.

In a related development, the Philippine Embassy is also advising the Filipino community to be more cautious in joining organizations, the objectives and activities of which maybe violative of the laws and regulations of the Kingdom. It may be stressed, in this regard, that Embassy registration or recognition of the existence of these organizations does not constitute approval of their activities which may violate the regulations of the host country, especially their activities held outside the Embassy premises. Any Filipino who wishes to complain to the Embassy against any one of these organizations must do so in writing, preferably in an affidavit form, attaching documentary evidence which can be verified in the Kingdom, in the Philippines, etc. as the case may be.

Filipinos in the Kingdom are also reminded to be more vigilant against people who are out to take advantage of their ignorance or weakness and to deprive them of their hard-earned money. The Embassy has been receiving some reports in this regard.

Finally, the Embassy is also advising Filipinos who are driving vehicles in the Kingdom to be very extra careful in driving, noting the big number of road traffic/vehicular accidents involving Filipinos and resulting in deaths. For the month of September 2006 alone, the Embassy received twenty-two (22) Reports of Death, seven (7) of whom were due to road traffic-vehicular accident. END

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