RIYADH – The official website of Vice President and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns Jejomar C. Binay announced that VP Binay will leave Friday to look into the situation of OFWs in the Middle East as per instruction from President Benigno Aquino III.
The Vice President is expected to arrive Riyadh on the 28th of February 2011. He will be meeting with government high ranking officials in Saudi Arabia from Kuwait and also expected to visit United Arab Emirates to hold labor bilateral discussions aiming to improve the conditions of Filipino workers in these countries.
He will also be closely monitoring the security situation of OFWs in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen in light of protest actions taking place in those countries. According to the Vice President’s website there are around 31,000 Filipinos in Bahrain, 26,000 in Libya and 1,400 are in Yemen as of June 2010.
“We are working very closely with DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] and our embassies to ensure that all preparation and contingency measures are smoothly implemented,” Binay said.
Binay will visit OFWs in welfare centers and job sites to listen their concerns.
Filipino Community leaders from KASAPI Congress in Jeddah is expected to come to Riyadh and together with the OFW Congress-Riyadh will seek an audience with the Vice President to discuss number of issues pertaining to those OFWs incarcerated in various jails in the Kingdom and in the death row in particular. And so with the refusal of the Saudi government to implement the new requirement on contract demanded by the Philippines. One of the conditions allows it to obtain private information on the family and social situation of Saudi citizens. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs sought its revision.
Also, the OFW Congress in Riyadh during their induction rites to be held 24 February 2011 at Philippine Embassy will submit a resolution addressed to H.E. President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and Vice President and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns Jejomar C. Binay.
The group demands include the appointment of two (2) personalities or OFWs coming from the rank of OFWs in Middle East particularly in Saudi Arabia to the two key government agencies that oversees the plight of the Filipino Migrant Workers, the POEA and OWWA governing boards respectively. And the President to support pending bills in Congress for the creation of a medical facility or OFW Hospital named “Bagong Bayani Medical Center”, recognizing the economic contribution of OFWs in the country dubbed as the new heroes of the Republic.
As courtesy rules, the resolution will be formally presented to Philippine Embassy Charge D’ Affaires, Hon. Minister Counselor, Consul General Ezzedin Tago who at the same time will grace the occasion.
While in Kuwait, the Vice President will also be representing President Aquino during the celebration of Kuwait’s 50th National Day, 20th Liberation anniversary and five years of the rule of the Emir of Kuwait, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah. – (BongA)