Novel way of misusing labor law

Novel way of misusing labor law

Exit Re-entry Visa Stamped in the Passport

Legal experts will be watching closely a case in Jubail in which a expatriate worker leaving the Kingdom for good discovered his former employer had skirted a new Saudi labor law by giving him an exit/re-entry visa instead of a final exit visa. The difference may, to the untrained eye, seem inconsequential. However, according to the new Saudi law, an exit/re-entry visa instead of the required final exit visa will block an expatriate worker from returning to the Kingdom on a new employment visa.

Under the revised law, the no-objection certificate previously required of companies for departing employees was eliminated, if they had a proper final exit visa on their passports. By cleverly substituting an exit/re-entry visa for the final exit, companies make it appear as if the employee has not left in good standing. This can preclude the worker from returning to the Kingdom for years in some cases. The final exit visa on one’s passport is seen by Saudi missions abroad as proof that the person has left the company with a clean slate.

Some hapless employees only discover this as their passports are often delivered to them at the airport as they depart; some might not even notice the misuse until reaching their home countries.

Electronic Exit Re-Entry Visa

The reason this deceit has come to light is because a 33-year-old Indian pipe technician who had been with the same company for 13 years discovered the wrong visa at the airport’s immigration counter and went back to his former employers to correct the “mistake” and then return to India with his wife and two children. It was only after speaking to his employer that he learned this was not a mistake but an underhanded way to keep him from coming back to the Kingdom for future employment.

“I never had any complaints against the company,” said the disgruntled pipe technician who has been stranded since October in Jubail with his family, unable to work and unable to leave. read more>>>>>

 By SIRAJ WAHAB | ARAB NEWS Published: Dec 27, 2010 23:58 Updated: Dec 27, 2010 23:58 DAMMAM:


KSA to Washington DC, USA…

KSA to Washington DC, USA…

According to Kabul Press on their March 2010 online article under Kabul Press Reveals said that the U.S. Department of State has labeled virtually every non-European country a “hardship post” for American diplomats and that include Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. However, they can’t refuse if their next tour of duty will be in the Kingdom, why?  Because of the extra pay to compensate the new posting. They will earn 20% extra pay as “hardship differential”.

“Riyadh City at Night”

How about Filipino diplomats? I mean the Filipino contingent as member of the Philippine mission in KSA? Well of course the Philippine government should compensate their hardship in taking care of our OFWs in distress not to mention that there are estimated 1 million Filipinos working in Saudi Arabia under their watch. How much? That I do not know, but for sure after all the hardship – they deserve to be posted from KSA to Venice, Italy. I mean… after sakit sa ulo, after all the kunot noo, lagas ng buhok, and batikos from the press – to recompense all of the above, will be a good posting and shining moments somewhere in the 10 best cities in Europe.

I haven’t got a chance to see some of the new members of the diplomatic corps at our Philippine Embassy more particularly POLO-Riyadh Labor Attaché Albert Valenciano, kasi hindi naman po niya binigyang-pansin ang aking formal letter asking for appointment. I don’t know if he receive it or not or baka naman busy siya dahil hindi naman ako nakatanggap ng sulat paumanhin na siya at sampu ng kanyang mga welfare officers ay busy sa mga problema ng ating mga distress OFWs.

Philippine Embassy, Washington, D.C.

But this morning, I’ve just read an online news item  that the officers and members of the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME) complained against the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh (POLO-Riyadh “read l.c.”)  for rebuffing them when they visited the Bahay ng Kalinga (BK) to offer donations for the wards staying there.

I tried to look back in the past who among my friends from Labor Attache’s Sodusta, Rasul, Roldan and Dela Fuente snubs such good deeds from Filipino organizations in Riyadh most especially coming from a Professional group? “Parang wala pa akong naririnig, lalo na pag donasyon (gamit at pagkain) ang pinag-uusapan” considering that it is very beneficial to our Filipina OFWs in distress at Bahay Kalinga.

According to Labor Attaché Valenciano, the shelter is not officially allowed to be very visible to the public especially where large gatherings of opposite sex are noticeable.

Isip ko naman, not unless the Philippine Ambassador is present (siyempre) in such gatherings (private residences).

Well, Labor Attaché Valenciano is a Career Executive Service Officer and before his assignment as Labor Attaché to Riyadh, he was Director IV of OWWA and was posted as Welfare Officer in Tel Aviv, Israel and Labor Attaché in Rome, Italy and he was one of the few pioneers of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. He was there when OWWA was created and I just hope that his action is based in an opinion of choice – not just an informed decision.

Siguro mas maganda ang Washington DC posting compared to Rome, Italy.  

Kaya mga igan na Labor Attache’s and Welfare Officers, we need your assistance, we need your caring hands to our distress OFWs. We all knew that mahirap maging pogi pag ang posting ninyo KSA; pero may magandang sikat ng araw sa bahaging kanluran na naghihintay po sa inyo.

Before I forget,  Peace on Earth and Happy Holiday!

Region 8 OFWs formally organize themselves as an association

PIA Press Release
Friday, December 17, 2010

Tacloban City (December 17) — For the first time, the Overseas Filipino Workers in Eastern Visayas have organized themselves into an association, on December 17, 2010 at the OWWA Region 8 Conference Room.

OFW Alex Veloso Bello and Family during MOFYA Awarding Ceremony with H.E. Philippine President Noynoy Aquino and OFW Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns, Vice President Jojo Binay andOWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon. Also in the photo, Globe Telecom chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz

Mr. Alex Bello, this year’s Model OFW Family Awardee for Region 8, land-based category, informed the Philippine Information Agency that during the OFW Family Day, upon the suggestion of Board Member Roque A. Tiu, the group decided  to meet on December 17 to formally organize into an organization.

Mr. Bello said that the OFWs could be a strong force in implementing changes in the Region, in the policies on OFWs and in helping other OFWs who are in  need, even OFWs who are now back from abroad.

With Mr. Bello is the interim President, vice presidents for every province  were also chosen. They are Teresita Contado; Reynaldo Tuazon of Samar, Rogelio  Labarrete for Northern Leyte, Araceli Sevilla for Western Leyte, and Pablito Cuizon for Biliran.

Rosario Macapugas is the Secretary while Delia Reyes isTreasurer. Batasheba Dy was chosen as the auditor and Victor Quimbo and Nida Robin are the Marshalls.

Mr. Bello who is also this year’s National Special Awardee for community  service, said that the association is named as  Pagkakaisa OFWs Families in Region 8.

The name expresses the desire of the OFWs to unite together to help Region 8 and to help other OFW families who are in need.

The little help from each member will have bigger impact when added together,  Mr. Bello said.

With the 26 years of being an OFW leader in Saudi Arabia, here is wishing Mr.  Bello and the other officers good luck in their endeavors. (PIA 8)

OFWEmpowerment Blog- 5 years of existence

OFWEmpowerment- 5 years of existence

Like any other anniversaries, today marks a new year to a new beginning and my further commitment to serve the OFW sector.

"AKO Pilipino Taas Noo Saan man Dako sa Mundo"- Babalik AKO Bayan Ko

Five years of existence is a symbol that increases in value or in strength with each passing year that reflects what this blog has made in the partnership of my fellow OFWs. As what I’ve said in my previous entry “I am not perfect but it’s quite relieving that someone out there believes in you.   

Today is a significant milestone for this blog and time to pause, to reflect, and to celebrate what has been accomplished in a relatively short span of years. Though this blog started  just for fun to ease the homesickness of the blogger far away from home and his loved ones; yet it is very fulfilling that it became a home to our fellow OFWs who needs answers to their unanswered questions.  

I came to realization that what I am doing is not enough, because with you as my partner, together – WE can do many things to help each others in times of needs and for us to lend a hand to those who needs us.

And as long as I am the writer, the editor and publisher  of this blog, I will remain your humble servant. I will try my best to keep this blog alive, to hear your sad stories, inquiries among others. I will also try to give all the information you need beneficial to the OFW sector.

To all my readers, visitors, friends and fellow community leaders, I have been deeply moved and heartened by your unwavering support and encouragement. I am gratified by the wholehearted endorsement of so many to read and subscribed “OFWempowerment” blog.

Today, WE still exist because of   YOU out there. You are the bedrock upon which OFWEmpowerment existed; you are the foundation that will sustain OFWempowerment towards a new years’ to come.

OFWempowerment 5 years of existence is also dedicated to my dear friend the late OFW Farmer Claro Ybanez  of  Davao and to his family. Wherever you are now  Nong Claro, I want you to know that –  We continue to exist because of  you and you are my inspiration.

To my brothers  Doods  and Bebs who believes of what I am doing, to my family, to my close friends, to OFW Congress-Riyadh and to all of you in the cyber world – THANK YOU So much!

Happy 5th Year Anniversary.

December 13, 2010


The busiest day so far in the Year 2010 was  Wednesday, December 8, 2010.  

596 views on your busiest day, December 8, 2010

Pageviews: 596


Top 10 Posts & Pages

These posts on your site got the most traffic.


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Home page 129
Iqama Rules, Jawazat Procedures, Repatriation Advisories 91
New Saudi Labor Law 40
KSA Exit & Re-entry Visa 31
Handbook for Overseas Filipinos 23
GCC Labor Laws 22
Iqama System Violations & Penalties 19
Open Letter from Ex-OFW Marge 15
SLL Basic Information 15
Rep. Act #10022 13

Open Letter from Ex-OFW Marge

An Open Letter from Ex-OFW Marge

I’ve been an OFW before in Saudi Arabia who experienced the worst thing that can be happened to a woman with their employer, and i thank God na nakauwi pa ako ng buhay by the help of our POLO Jeddah / Riyadh and Phil. Embassy and now I’m working in a Fully Public Service Program in Radio and TV. As of now, isa ako sa mga concern citizen na gustong iparating sa inyong tanggapan ang mga hinaing ng ating mga kapwa OFW’s na may mga anak o nagka anak,mga babae at lalaki na nasa Malaz Jail, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Nakatanggap ako ng mga tawag at mga text messages mula sa ating mga kabayan na nasa loob ng Malaz.  Oo,nagkasala sila sa batas ng Saudi,pero sapat ba iyon upang doon na lamang tayo babase o titingin at hayaan na lang sila sa sitwasyon nila? Kaya tayo mayroon mga kinatawan sa kahit saang bansa upang tulungan at i trato ng maayos ang kapwa natin Filipino. Pasensya na,kaya nasasabi ko ito dahil naranasan ko at nakita ang pagtrato ng ating ibang kinatawan sa mga kapwa natin ofw na nanghihingi ng tulong sa kinauukulan ng Embahada. Isa lamang akong daan upang maitawid sa inyo ang hinaing ng ating mga kabayan na bigyan sila ng pansin at nawa ay matulungan natin sila sa kanilang matagal ng hinaing. Pakisuyo po basahin ang kanilang mensahe na pinadala sa akin..

Pasko na naman, andito pa rin ako

from: 00966543605398kami mga presong OFW dito sa Riyadh Malaz Jail ay nanawagan sa Pangulo ng Pilipinas at sa lahat ng mga kinatawan sa pagtulong sa amin. sana po inyong bigyan ng pansin ang aming mga kaso,sa pangatlong taon po namin dito magpapasko na naman sana po makasama na namin ang aming mga mahal sa buhay. Tulungan ninyo po kami.

from: 00966543605398gud am po,sa pamamagitan ng telebisyon ng mamamayan ng bansang Pilipinas,..muli, kaming mga nakabilanggo dito sa Malaz Jail, Riyadh, Saudi ay nanawagan sa ating Pangulo Benigno Aquino lll at Bise Presidente Jejomar Binay.  Huwag lang po sana ang mga nasa labas at mga sosyalan ang mapagtuunan ng pansin.  Higit pong kailangan ng mga nakakulong ang tulong ninyo.  MAGPAPASKO NA NAMAN PO, ANDITO PA RIN KAMI. NAGMAMAKAAWA PO KAMI SA INYO AT SA LAHAT NG KINAUUKULAN NA TULUNGAN NINYO KAMI NA MAKAUWI NA. Udyukan nawa kayo ng AWA ng DIYOS na tumulong sa amin.. Kung saan na lumapit ang aming pamilya sa lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno sa Pilipinas ngunit walang nangyari. Muli, bigyan nyo kmi ng pansin.

Mula po sa amin na OFW’s JESIE SUMEJO, MAURO DUATIN, VICENTE NIEGOS, ROMEO ALIT at iba pang Filipino na andito sa loob ng Malaz Jail.

Lubos puso ko pong itinatawid sa inyong tanggapan ang mga hinaing ng ating mga kabayan na mapag aralan at mabigyan ng katugunan ang kanilang mga kaso.


From: EX-OFW Marge

OFW from Riyadh chosen as 2010 MOFYA Special Awardee

 Dec. 6, 2010, Riyadh, KSA – OFW from Riyadh was chosen as 2010 MOFYA Special Awardee for “Outstanding Achievement in Community Projects” in 2010 Search for Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA 2010).
Philippine President  H.E. Noynoy Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay  hands out the prestigious award to OFW Alex Veloso Bello and his entire family today at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel in Pasay City.  

The search for the Model OFW Family of the Year Award is an award-giving program designed to give recognition to outstanding OFW families, and promote best practices in achieving optimal success in all aspects of life in the face of overseas migration of one or more members of the household.

Alex Veloso Bello is currently working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for 26 years and his wife Evangeline Morden Bello decided to go home for good and put up a small business. Now, the family owns the Lifestyle Beauty Spa & a Gift Shop in Tacloban City which was established from the couple’s earnings abroad.

His wife Vangie was an OFW in Saudi Arabia for 16 years. She worked as staff nurse at King Khalid University Hospital, in Riyadh.

OFW Alex Veloso Bello,  the President of OFW Congress- Riyadh  is a Purchasing Executive for 11 years of ABB-Asea Brown Boveri-Saudi Arabia. He represents Region 8, Eastern Visayas in the National Search for Model OFW Family Award (MOFYA 2010) for land-based  category.

MOFYA is an annual search conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through the OWWA offices in the regions, where two MOFYA winners, one Land-based (LB) and one Sea-based (SB) are being chosen.  A selection for National Award among all regional awardees will be chosen as the MOFYA 2010.  There are 34 regional finalists, two national winners and two special awardees.

The Bello’s have five children of which one is a registered nurse, and is presently working with King Fahad National Guard Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia who is married to a Filipino Doctor. One is a graduating nursing student studying in Southwestern University in Cebu.

Araw ng Pasasalamat


Alex Veloso Bello at an early age experienced hardship in life and in order to go to school he worked as a gasoline boy to make both ends meet. Later landed a job as a hotel bell boy and armed with courage and determination he became Asst. Front Office Manager of the Hotel. 

After he graduated from Divine Word University, Tacloban, he tried his luck in Manila and worked as a project accountant / auditor before he decided to work abroad. He got married at the age of  22 and have  five (5) children, four (4) of their children were born in Saudi Arabia, until he found a good job in ABB Saudi Arabia as Section Head of  the company’s Purchasing Department. Asean Brown Boveri is world’s leading power and automation technology companies. The couple has two grandchildren.

Alex Veloso Bello was conferred by OWWA Region 8 as “The Most Outstanding OFW” land-based category last June 2010 during the Migrant Workers Day celebration dubbed as “Araw ng Pasasalamat.”

To read more about Alex Veloso Bello and his accomplishment as an OFW, please click Alex Veloso Bello A Brief Biography of an OFW Leader”  

President Aquino handed this year’s MOFYA to the following:

Engr. Ermie Lagman Garon and family of Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac, 2010 Model OFW Family of the Year, Land-based category; Victor R. Dela Cruz and family of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 2010 Model OFW family of the year, sea-based category;

Alex V. Bello and family of Tacloban City, Leyte for Outstanding Achievement in Community Projects; Capt. Gaudencio C. Morales and family of the NCR for Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship.