How about You – OFWs? Are you in favor of Philippine Divorce Law?

Senator Aquilino “Koko”Pimentel III announced Tuesday night (22 May, 2012)  that he and wife of 12 years, Jewel, had been separated since November 2011 while Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero admitted in various media interviews that he and his wife, Christine, had parted ways.

Senator Pia Cayetano has been separated for the past eight years and is now in the process of annulment.

I think that divorce should be availed by people who become homicidal at the sight of each other. That is much better than making each other miserable for the rest of their lives, and impacting the lives of their children as well,”  – Senator Miriam Santiago


“slowly pull the ring out”

OFW husband who had not returned home for three years.  He called from Saudi Arabia, saying, “Kumusta na kayo?” The wife replied: “Salamat sa mga padala mong pera. Ang beer house natin ay KTV Bar na! Ang tricycle natin, taxi na. Ang one-story house ay three stories, at ang 2 anak natin ay apat na!” Four in three years! How come?  (taken from “Heavy Crosses our O.F.W.’s Carry“) Continue reading


Embassy Reminds Filipinos To Register As Overseas Absentee Voters

Press Release No. 77-2012 / 15 May 2012

Embassy Reminds Filipinos To Register As Overseas Absentee Voters

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reiterates its invitation to all Filipinos in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to register as Overseas Absentee Voters (OAV). The National Elections for Senators and party-list representatives shall be on 13 May 2013 – exactly a year from today.

If you are any of the following, you are required to register as an Overseas Absentee Voter: Continue reading

Justice Ministry to settle labor disputes in future


Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih announced his ministry would transfer labor disputes to the Ministry of Justice within three years after the issuance of the new criminal procedures law.

He also disclosed that the number of foreign workers in the Kingdom has reached 9 million, including 1.5 million domestic workers.

Speaking to Alsharq Arabic daily, Fakeih said the ministry received 9,956 complaints and cases involving workers last year.

“Of these, the majority of cases were related to foreigners. There were 5,715 cases (57.4 percent) involving foreigners while cases involving Saudis were 4,241 (42.6 percent),” he said, adding that the ministry was able to settle 8,628 of these cases.

The minister said transferring labor issues to the Ministry of Justice and subsequently to various courts would be more beneficial.

“Cultural Differences”. If a Saudi man holds another man’s hand in public it’s a sign of mutual respect. (Don’t do it in Australia, Texas or Liverpool, England)

“There would be a legal basis while settling labor disputes if they are taken to the courts. This would, no doubt, improve the efficiency of the judicial process while handling labor litigation in addition to expediting their settlement,” he said.

Fakeih hoped the Ministry of Justice would take the initiative to set up labor courts to settle various labor issues.

“We would make available our resources if the Ministry of Justice asks for it during the transition period after establishing labor courts. The setting up of labor courts would ease the burden of our ministry in settling numerous labor problems,” he said.

Referring to multitude of labor disputes, the minister said that there is nothing unusual in it while considering the nature of labor markets anywhere in the world.

As far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, there is every scope for an increase in the number of such problems because of the huge number of foreigners who belong to about 150 countries. The social and cultural backgrounds of these workers are immensely diverse,” he said, adding that the differences of views and outlooks between employer and worker may lead to strained relations and eventually disputes.

By RIYADH: ARAB NEWS ; Published: May 13, 2012 02:21 Updated: May 13, 2012 02:21

Embassy Condoles with Family of a Ward at Bahay Kalinga


RIYADH, 9 MAY 2012:  The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh condoles with the family of a female ward who died today at Bahay Kalinga.

Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago offered his sincere condolences to the family of a ward who died at today at Bahay Kalinga despite persistent attempts by the Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh to seek medical attention for her. The female ward was admitted to Bahay Kalinga on 17 April 2012. She was already suffering from an advanced stage of breast cancer.

She had absconded from her employer in 2009 and only sought the Embassy’s assistance recently. She was brought by the Embassy thrice to hospitals in the Kingdom but was refused admission for not having valid immigration documents.

In behalf of the entire Embassy, I offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of our dear kababayan. The Embassy in now coordinating with concerned Saudi authorities for the immediate repatriation of her remains to the Philippines,” said Ambassador Tago.

The Embassy has informed the family of the deceased in the Philippines of the incident. The name of the female ward is being withheld to protect the privacy of her family.

The Embassy reminds all Filipinos to immediately seek the assistance of the Embassy and POLO Offices for any employment-related complaints. All Filipinos in the Kingdom who have employment and immigration concerns are advised to immediately report to the Embassy and POLO Offices in the Kingdom to avoid situations requiring urgent intervention such as terminal health conditions. END.

Country’s pride is at stake


Country’s Pride is at Stake

Professional Skills Test

The Saudi government a few years ago introduced by requiring all professional expatriates in the field of engineering and medical profession to take the Saudi Council exam prior to practice their profession within the Kingdom.

According to Saudi Commission the purpose of the Saudi Council exam is to evaluate the professional abilities and the efficiency of expatriates in the Kingdom and to ascertain that all foreign professional workers are in accordance to the standard of safe practice in their respective field of profession. Though this doesn’t mean that an expat professional get a practice license after passing the test, it just means that he or she have reached the standard required by the Commission to practice their chosen field of profession.

For those in the medical profession, expats can take the exam on the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) and Engineers have to be registered with the Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) for the issuance and renewal of their iqamas or residence permits.

And just recently, the Ministry of Labor announced that they will issue work permits to foreigners on the basis of their performance in the professional skills tests.

It is very clear therefore that the Saudi Government and the Saudi business private sector as well want to make sure that their expatriates are highly qualified in their field of expertise. The professional test can also help identify that they’veattained a professional standard within their respective skills and profession. Continue reading