The reality of Saudization is yet to come


4/11/2013, RIYADH: Why on earth those undocumented Filipino workers in the Kingdom are hard headed enough to comply legalization process under the Saudi government amnesty program and chose to stay in the Kingdom? Does the three months grace period not enough to conform requirements to complete paper works? I don’t think so. There are many remedies waiting for them during those periods;  to rectify their working status or decide to go home for good.

The Philippine Embassy on 10 October 2013 announced in their website that male Filipino worker who wishes to be repatriated before the 3 November 2013 deadline, but lack the required original iqama or passport and thereby have been unable to process exit visa to contact Embassy and labor office. The Philippine Embassy under the Ambassadorship of H.E. Ezzedin Tago   has arranged with the Office of the Emir for the creation of an interagency committee to look into the cases of those with no documents in preparation for their repatriation. The Philippine labor office was even open during Eid holidays to serve their distress nationals who want to avail the Saudi government amnesty program.

There were even separate facilities for mothers with unducmented children whether they are registered or not to proceed to the embassy’s Um Al-Hammam field office and avail the additional few days’ extension for DNA testing as provided by the Saudi authorities.

DNA testing is an initial step prior to processing at the Jawazat for final exit for those undocumented Filipina mother and children.

However, despite of the announcement and notices from various Filipino groups to their members and friends, a few have been heeding the call.

philembassyWhat’s wrong? What’s on the mind of our fellow OFWs? I can’t find any answers to those simple questions that I, myself asked. Are our embassy has failed to reach our fellow OFW in distress? The answer is No either, because the just concluded amnesty program of the Saudi government was not only for Filipinos, in fact it was for all expatriates in the Kingdom. It is a national instruction or order from Saudi authorities to all foreign workers to correct their status or leave the Kingdom for good. I think our Embassy and or our Consulate had exhausted all possible means to help our OFW in  distress. Maybe the three months time extension was not enough or there will be a personal neglect or the “Filipino manana habit” has something to do with it.

Today is the day to reckon, there will be no excuses. Whether we don’t like it, our own action and by ignoring to follow orders has been substantiated, and therefore we must face the consequences. The theory of flight says “for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction”.

The Saudi authorities will start a massive crackdown to those expatriates who failed to rectify their statuses. There will be a knock on your door at any given time and as what Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al_Hamzi, Director General of the Passport Department  said “we have plans to deal with overcrowding at correctional facilities and prisons have more capacity and are located across the Kingdom, unlike deportation centers, which have a limited capacity.

A Saudi colleague of mine at work saidafter the crackdown and cleansing period, the increase of crimes that involves foreigners will be lessen and corruption in few offices perhaps be eradicated which year by year became a disease in our system”.  

In a press conference, Deputy Labor Minister Mufrej bin Saad Al-Haqbani said labor inspectors would visit commercial establishments, construction sites, operations and maintenance offices, retail outlets, catering companies, cafes. They will crosscheck workers’ identities with their legal documentation to ensure that workers are legal.

Deputy Labor Minister Al-Haqbani was thankful to foreign workers who have participated in the development of the Kingdom. “We still want you but we want foreigners to remain in the Kingdom lawfully” he added.

The Passport Department and other Saudi government security agencies can now exercise and strengthen its internal security measures against terrorist activities and infiltration; crimes such as drug smuggling, manufacturing and alcohol use, visa forgery, immoral act and back door activities. It can easily solve crimes and prevent those expats or foreigners with criminal backgrounds to return the country with false names or new identity.

Again folks, it is not Saudi government harassment and or violation of human rights, it is for the good of all expatriates, the employers and the country as well; and the last but not the least the reality of Saudization is yet to come”.  – BongA

Related links:

Thousands arrested on first day of crackdown 

Life hit hard by labor raids 

MOI Spokesman announces end of grace period for violators of labour, immigration regulations 

Labor inspectors won’t raid homes

Thousands arrested on Day 2

Labor action pays off

Remittances poised to fall 20% in wake of campaign


One thought on “The reality of Saudization is yet to come

  1. Economists expect new era in KSA labor market
    Published — Thursday 7 November 2013

    Top businessmen and economists in the Kingdom are unanimous in their opinion that the crackdown against illegal workers following the end of the amnesty period would only benefit the Saudi economy in the long run though short-term obstacles may be encountered.

    The move will help eradicate the gray economy, besides creating more job and investment opportunities for young citizens, they said.

    Under the new labor laws, the government is seeking to increase the number of citizens employed in the private sector by introducing job quotas for citizens. Companies failing to comply with the nationalization scheme will have to face penalties.

    Ihsan Bu Hulaiga, a Riyadh-based economic analyst, told Arab News: “We need legal expats for our economy to grow. Once illegals expats are sent back home, we can enumerate the total strength of the legal work force in the Kingdom, what they do and which cities they are based in. This will be relevant to analyze and formulate business policies for the future.”

    Bu Hulaiga said: “What we are witnessing now is that illegal foreign workers are at large. They are in hiding and will surface after the raids are carried out in various places. This phenomenon will not continue forever. They will have to emerge eventually.”
    He said: “The campaign is not about expats in general but about illegal workers. There are hundreds of thousands workers who are working for people other than their original sponsors. They also own businesses which are not regulated, resulting in economic chaos, which cannot be allowed to continue.”

    “The flushing out of illegals will also help in controlling the gray economy,” he said.
    Faisal Alsayrafi, president of the Financial Transaction House, said small businesses will be impacted because most of them are not regularized.

    Basil Al-Ghalayini, CEO of BMG Financial Group, said: “In the short term, many labor-intensive businesses, which include the contracting, education, maintenance and healthcare domains, will suffer, while the long-term impact is still to be tried and tested.”
    Al-Ghalayini said the corrective measures would open a new window of opportunity for young Saudi professionals.

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