To my fellow OFWs, please note of the following Memorandum Circulars Nos. 3 and 4 respectively issued by the POEA to Licensed Recruitment Agencies in the Philippines.
OFWs should be aware that the recruitment agencies that deployed OFWs have an obligation to assist and monitor the welfare of their deployed overseas Filipino workers. Therefore, be reminded that recruitment agencies cannot just ignore a call or complaint from an OFW in distress against their foreign principals/employers.
Likewise, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office should always be ready to serve and hear the grievances of our fellow OFWs and proper coordination with the recruitment agencies must be made at all times.
One-stop service center for OFWs opens August 15
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is launching a one-stop shop on Monday, August 15, where all government frontline services are made accessible to Filipinos who are currently working or planning to work overseas.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said this is in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to make it easier for OFWs to avail the services of the government.
Bello said the One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO) is located at the ground floor of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s main office at Blas F. Ople Building in Ortigas Avenue corner EDSA, Mandaluyong City.
He said the one-stop service center is seen to reduce transportation expenses of OFWs and shorten the processing time of their documents.
Aside from making available to OFWs information on their respective programs and services and responding to queries of clients, the various government offices’ services to OFWs are as follows:
1. Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
– Passport Services
– Passport Validity Extension for Balik-Manggagawa (vacationing Workers)
2. Overseas Welfare Workers Administration (OWWA)
– Processing of OWWA Membership/Renewal of Membership
3. Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA)
– Assistance for Competency Assessment
– Verification of Certificates and Special Order
– Assistance for Replacement of National Certificates (NC)/ Certificates of Competency (COC)
– Training Assistance and Scholarship Program
4. Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)
– Issuance of Professional License
5. Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
– Issuance/ Revalidation of Seaman’s Book
6. Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF)
– Processing of Pag-ibig Membership
7. Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC)
– Payment of Philhealth Contribution
– Member registration and updating
8. Social Security System (SSS)
– Registration and Membership Data Amendment
– Acceptance of Loan and Benefits Claim Applications
– Loan Verification and Status
– UMID Capturing and Card Releasing
– Response to Queries
9. Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
– Processing and Copy Issuance of
* Certificate of Live Birth
* Certificate of Marriage
* Certificate of Death
* Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
10. Bureau of Immigration (BI)
– Departure Clearance Information
11. National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
– Issuance of NBI Clearance
12. Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
– Verification and Authentication of School Credentials
13. Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
– Travel Tax Payment
– Processing of Travel Tax Exemption and Reduced Travel Tax
– Response to Queries
14. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
– Documentation of Workers
(Landbased and Seabased)
– Documentation of Workers-On-Leave/Balik-Manggagawa
– Registration of Landbased Worker-Applicants
– Verification/Certification of OFW Records
– Provision of Legal Assistance
– Response to Queries
Bello said one-stop centers will be set up also in all regions spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Offices in coordination with the regional offices of the agencies cited above, local government units, and other partners and stakeholders.
The OSSCO in Ortigas and the regional offices will be open from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday to Friday, or in its discretion, with prior approval of the POEA or DOLE Regional Office, may extend the services during weekends and holidays.
The POEA has established a similar one-stop OFW processing center at its premises in 2003 as required by the 2002 POEA Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Land-based Overseas Workers (Part III, Rule III, Section 10). /END
POEA News Release (August 14, 2016)
11 August 2016 – Consulate officials led by Consul General Imelda Panolong met with Mr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Alolayan, General Director of the Ministry of Labor (MOL) in Makkah region, to discuss the cases of stranded Filipino workers in light of the recent directive of Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, to hasten the resolution of cases of stranded expatriate workers. During the meeting Mr. Alolayan said that the MOL has already dispatched teams to the different camps of Saudi Oger to assist the stranded workers of the company. They have been providing food, water and medical assistance to the workers of Saudi Oger in all its camps in Jeddah.
To resolve the case of the stranded workers in Saudi Oger, Mr. Alolayan said the workers have the option to either go home on final exit or transfer to another company. The Saudi government, through MOL and Immigration (Jawazat), will renew expired residence permits (Iqama), and provide exit visas and plane tickets to the workers who wish to leave. MOL noted that several companies have approached them offering to absorb workers from Saudi Oger. MOL shall facilitate the matching of the job requirements of these companies with those workers who want to be transferred. For workers with unpaid salaries and benefits, they may issue a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of the Consulate to process the entitlements due them. Workers who are not affected and do not experience delays in their salaries may continue to work. Mr. Alolayan promised to coordinate closely with the Philippine Consulate to facilitate the early resolution of the cases of the stranded Filipino workers.
Also present during the meeting were Consul Rodney Jonas L. Sumague, Labor Attaché Jainal T. Rasul, Jr. and Mr. Muhammad Mahmour S. Qassim (Translator/Interpreter/Conciliator).
Prior to the meeting with MOL, Consul General Panolong, Consul Sumague, Labor Attaché Rasul and Welfare Officer Angel Cruz, Jr., met with officials of the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) to discuss the cases of affected Filipino workers in the company. Present during the meeting representing SBG were Mr. Khaled J. Thabet, HR Support Services Manager; Mr. Abdullah Y. Balkhair, Talent Management and Development Manager; Mr. Abdulrahman Alsurawi, Head of Complaints Unit; and Ms. Rocel Castro-Samillano, Recruitment Coordinator.
Mr. Thabet informed the Consulate officials that 2,429 Filipino workers are presently still working under SBG in the whole of K.S.A. while 1,069 have signified their intention to go home. Their exit visas and final settlement of benefits are expected to be issued in 2-3 weeks. He gave the assurance that SBG is able to facilitate the exit visas, paying remaining salaries and benefits and providing plane tickets to their workers who want to go home. They may execute a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of the Consulate to follow up their entitlements if they are unable to wait for its release. Mr. Thabet added that SBG continues to regularly provide food to their workers. Nevertheless, they will investigate reports that there are some project camps which have not been given food and water as raised by the Consulate officials.
On the future of SBG, Mr. Thabet said the company is optimistic that it will recover very soon. Consul General Panolong noted that the 2,429 Filipino workers who opted to continue to work is a positive sign that augurs well for the recovery of the company. Mr. Thabet responded that SBG feels fortunate that the Filipino workers are staying and he further assured the Consulate officials of closer coordination to address the concerns of Filipino workers. END
Notice about Financial Assistance for Stranded OFWs specified in OWWA MOI No. 008, Series of 2016 dated 25 July 2016
According to OWWA MOI No. 008, the recipient of financial assistance are only to those stranded OFWs in Saudi Arabia from the following companies: Saudi Bin Laden Group, Saudi Oger, Mohammad Al Mojil Group, Mohammad Hameed Al Barghash & Bros. Trading & Construction Co. , ALUMCO L.L.L.C, Rajeh H. Al Merri Contracting and Trading Company, Fawzi Al Salah- Nairani Contracting Company, Arabtec Construction L.L.C, and Real Estate Development and Investment Company.
The Financial Assistance Application Form must come from POLO. Forms must have POLO stamps and signed/with a signature of the OWWA Officer. Other forms that comes or obtained from different origins are not accepted.
Only designated or authorized employees of POLO (Riyadh, Jeddah or Riyadh) are permitted to list the names of the stranded OFWs and provide them with application forms for financial assistance.
The Application Forms will be brought by POLO-OWWA Officers to the camps mentioned companies. They also get the application forms from the camp. There will be a validation procedure to be conducted by POLO. The releasing of the financial assistance will be released in the same camp by the POLO-OWWA assistance officers. The Coordinators in each camp who regularly interact with the POLO will be informed on the schedule for the release of the assistance fund.
The live-out staffs of such companies are advised to await the announcement of the selected Coordinators at each site about the POLO schedules intended for them. The POLO office will provide transportation or transportation expenses will be provided to the designated coordinators who facilitated the application and any required documents from POLO.
Recipient stranded OFWs must show their company IDs, and submit copies of iqama/work permit even expired, or a copy of the passport before receiving financial assistance.
Proxy or Representative is not allowed to apply or receive financial assistance on behalf of the stranded OFWs.
The financial assistance funds are coming from the OWWA Funds and the OWWA Welfare Officers are accountable for the funds.
The above mentioned requirements or procedures are necessary as regulatory compliance of the Commission on Audit. (July 31, 2016)
For the official Pilipino or tagalog version of the Philippine Embassy Advisory, please click here >>>>>>>
The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh announces the list of passport applicants for the “Embassy on Wheels” (EOW) in Al Khobar on 15-16 July 2016 to be held at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Al Khobar.
|EOW List of Appointments for 15-16 July 2016 Al Khobar|
|1||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Felindo Artiaga|
|2||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Jeanifer Eufre Eraste|
|3||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Rudy Tumamac|
|4||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Henry Yamsuan|
|5||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Arnelio Bayan Tiglao|
|6||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Ruben Guevarra Mabilang|
|7||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Tristan John De Leon|
|8||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Gilbert Cunanan|
|9||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Ernie Gavica|
|10||15-Jul||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||Noel Daliva Perante|
To view the full list of applicants for the above mentioned dates, please click here>>>>>>>>.
On how to avail the “Embassy On Wheels Consular Outreach Services,” kindly click here>>>>>>>.
a. Infants who are aged six (6) months and below;
b. Pregnant women;
c. Senior citizens who are aged 60 years old and above;
d. Physically-challenged applicants; and,
e. Applicants whose passports have been declared lost, damaged or mutilated.
Applicants who require assistance will be allowed to bring one (1) companion inside the venue. Those who do not have any appointment or transaction during the consular outreach mission will not also be allowed inside the venue.
All passport applicants must also bring their old passport and a photocopy of their passport’s data page as well as the passport appointment confirmation. Passport application fee is SR240.00
All those claiming their new passport should also bring their old passports for cancellation, including the receipt. Those who cannot personally claim their passport must provide an Authorization Letter to the one who will claim their passport, aside from bringing along the other required documents.
For other consular services, applicants will be entertained on a “first come, first serve” basis. Priority, however, will be given to the following:
- Pregnant women;
- Senior citizens who are aged 60 years old and above;
- Physically-challenged applicants; and,
Applicants for other consular services must bring a photocopy of their valid passport and other relevant documents.
Statement Following the Recent Suicide Bombings in
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi authorities are conducting their investigation and security measures have been heightened for the protection of the citizens and residents in the Kingdom. The situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains calm as the whole nation prepare for the Eid celebrations. Nonetheless, Filipinos in the Kingdom are advised to be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times.
Organizers of special events where gathering of large number of Filipinos will take place are requested to re-assess the security situation in your area and decide whether it is advisable to hold your event or to postpone it to a more appropriate time. Please coordinate with the police authorities in your locale.
For Filipinos in distress and in need of assistance, you may contact the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh at (011)-4823559 or the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah (0555-219-613) or (0555-219-614).
The Embassy of the Philippines in Riyadh also takes this opportunity to greet everyone Eid Mubarak! May this special day bring you peace, happiness and prosperity. END
This blog post is to inform our fellow OFWs that the POEA rules and regulations governing the recruitment and employment of landbased OFWs have been revised on February 2016.
Some of the answers to our readers inquires or salient portion of the provisions of the revised POEA rules and regulations 2016 are herein provided for our guide.
A: Disciplinary Action against Principal/Employer
Salient portions of some provisions that fellow OFWs should note that principals and or employer unauthorized/unjustified collection of fee or illegal exaction from OFWs through whatever means, including salary deduction are serious offense and grounds for disciplinary actions against employers that could lead to permanent disqualification and delisting from the roster of accredited principal or employer.
In the above provision otherwise, OFWs should be reminded that a placement fee “may be charged against the Overseas Filipino Worker equivalent to one (1) month basic salary as specified in the POEA approved contract”. However, in Saudi Arabia, the employer’s usual practice has to pay the worker placement fee to the recruitment agency and to be paid by the OFW through salary deduction. There are many employers in the Middle East that are doing this kind of arrangements. It may be allowed with a written acceptance by the OFW. But be noted that the salary deduction scheme is not allowed in other countries of destination.
Permanent disqualification of the principal to hire OFWs includes “substitution or alteration of the POEA approved contract to the prejudice of the Overseas Filipino Worker.” Therefore, OFWs should always be aware that changing of the agreed terms and conditions of POEA approve contract is against POEA rules and regulations.
B: Disciplinary Action against Recruitment agency
Be aware that that recruitment agencies are subject to suspension of license if found “collecting any fee from a worker without issuing the official receipt clearly showing the amount paid and the purpose for which payment was made.”
Provisions that may lead to the suspension of the recruitment agency’s license in the revised POEA rules and regulations includes:
“Substituting or altering, to the prejudice of the worker, a POEA-approved employment contract, from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same, without the approval of the POLO or POEA”.
Therefore, any alteration or substitution of the agreed employment contract terms and conditions if the case may arise should be approved by our POLO and or POEA.
“Withholding or denying release of travel or other pertinent documents from a worker despite demand and failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the worker in connection with his/her documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, where deployment does not take place without any fault on the part of the worker.”
All the above offense committed by the recruitment agency may result in the revoking or suspension of their license or whatever penalties as to be concluded by the POEA.
C: Disciplinary Action against Overseas Filipino Workers
If there is a disciplinary action to be taken against employers and recruitment agency, an OFW should also be aware that penalties await us if an offense is committed during the pre-employment period.
The number one that we should be aware of is “submitting, furnishing or using false information or documents or any form of misrepresentation for the purpose of a job application or employment.” The penalties are categorized into three in which could lead to permanent disqualification from participation in the overseas employment program.
Another offense that I found relevant to many of our readers’ inquiries is the “unjustified refusal to continue his/her application after signing an employment contract, or to depart for the work site after all employment and travel documents have been duly approved by the appropriate government agencies.” Penalties could be a “suspension in a certain period of time and permanent disqualification from participation in the overseas employment program.”
But in this particular scenario the POEA will determine the offense upon review of the complaint raised by the recruitment agency. If an offense is committed, it means unjustifiable reasons for withdrawal of documents or refusal to depart for the work site may result in disqualification of OFWs in future application to work overseas.
Primary Responsibility to Repatriate Overseas Filipino Workers. – Notwithstanding the provisions on compulsory insurance coverage as required by law, the repatriation of an Overseas Filipino Worker or his/her remains, and the transport of his/her personal effects shall be the primary responsibility of the principal/employer and licensed recruitment agency that recruited and/or deployed the work. This entails the obligation to cover repatriation and attendant costs, including airfare and immigration fines/penalties. This obligation shall be without prior determination of the cause of the need to repatriate the Overseas Filipino Worker.
However, kindly be informed that the POEA Revised Rules and Regulations says “after the Overseas Filipino Worker has returned to the country, the principal/employer or licensed recruitment agency may, however, recover the cost of repatriation from the Overseas Filipino Worker if the termination of the employment was due solely to the Overseas Filipino Worker’s fault.”
Click here>>> RULE XIII REPATRIATION OF WORKERS (OMNIBUS RULES AND REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE MIGRANT WORKERS AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS ACT OF 1995, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10022)
Click here>>> OFW Compulsory Insurance or OFWs Mandatory Insurance Coverage.
Click here>>> STANDARD EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT FOR VARIOUS SKILLS (No. 14 : TERMINATION)
(Riyadh, 09 April 2016) – The Philippine Embassy successfully started today the first day of automated elections for Overseas Voters (OVs) at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the International Philippine School in Al Khobar. Over 1000 overseas voters cast their votes on the first day of automated elections in Riyadh.
Overseas voting began as scheduled today at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the International Philippine School in Al Khobar (IPSA). Men, women and their families came early at the designated voting venues in Riyadh and in Al Khobar to cast their votes.
Mr. Romel P. Libao, 28 years old, and an OFW from Buraidah, Qassim was the first voter to cast his vote at the Embassy. “Nag-biyahe po ako nang maaga upang makaboto sa unang araw ng eleksyon. Mahalaga po ang bawat boto,” said Mr. Libao.
Buraidah in Qassim is located around 400km north of Riyadh.
Over 1000 overseas voters cast their votes on the first day of automated elections in Riyadh.
Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ezzedin H. Tago, also cast his vote on the first day of automated elections. He urged all registered Filipino in Saudi Arabia to exercise their right to vote. “I invite all kababayans to come to the Embassy in Riyadh or IPSA in Al Khobar, cast their votes and let their voices be heard. Kasali po tayong lahat dito,” said Ambassador Tago.
Saudi Arabia accounts for 216,662 out of the 1.376 million registered Filipino overseas voters for 2016. There are three voting venues in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has 113,985 registered voters under its Certified List of Overseas Voters (CLOV) while Jeddah has 68,751 and Al Khobar with 33,926.
The following are important details regarding overseas voting:
A) Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh
B) International Philippine School in Al Khobar (IPSA), Al Khobar, Eastern Province
Who may vote:
Registered overseas voters whose names appear in the CLOV under Riyadh PE; registered seafarers
Registered overseas voters whose names appear in the CLOV under POLO Al Khobar; registered seafarers
Period: 09 April to 09 May 2016 (Daily including weekends and holidays)
Daily schedule: Daily 8:00AM to 5:00PM Weekdays: 12:00NN to 8:00PM
Weekends: 9:00AM to 5:00PM
Last day: 09 May 2016 from 8:00AM to 12:00NN*
*Per COMELEC Res. 10087, the requirements:
ANY of the following may be presented to the SBEI:
1)Original PHL passport
3)Any PHL-issued ID
5) Seaman’s book (if seafarer)
- Inspect your voter receipt and drop it in the receipt receptacle. Do not leave voting area with the voter receipt.
- Taking photographs of the ballot or the voter receipt is an election offense.
- CAMPAIGNING INSIDE THE EMBASSY IS PROHIBITED
The Philippine Embassy wishes to remind the voting public that the conduct of any political or partisan campaigning or propaganda for or against any candidate at polling areas at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh or the International Philippine School in Al Khobar within the voting period is strictly prohibited .
The Embassy invites the voting public’s attention to the following provisions under Article X of COMELEC Resolution No. 10052 on election offenses and prohibited acts:
Under Section 261 of Batas Pambansa 881
“k. Unlawful electioneering – It is unlawful to solicit votes or undertake any propaganda on the day…of election, for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling place and with a radius of thirty meters thereof.”
“2) On candidacy and campaign:
f. Any person who solicits votes or undertakes any propaganda, on the day of election, for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling area or within a radius of thirty meters thereof”
The wearing of T-shirts, ballcaps, jackets, wristbands, bandanas or any other campaign-related material or paraphernalia, or, possession of said materials, is strictly prohibited inside the Embassy in Riyadh or the International Philippine School in Al Khobar within the voting period from 09 April to 09 May 2016.
Any person or group who wishes to enter the premises of the Embassy or IPSA, to cast their votes or avail of any services of the Embassy, will only be accommodated once they remove such items from their person, change into other clothes or have the prohibited clothing worn inside out.
Recorded CCTV footage may be submitted to COMELEC by the Embassy if required by law. END