Stop Insulting Expat Workers


An article in a local Arabic daily focused on the increasing control which expatriate workers have over the Saudi retail sector. The writer Saad Al-Dosari “laments the fact” that retail markets are controlled by expatriates and he adds that most expatriate workers are illegal or undocumented workers!

He says that expatriate workers are a “virus” and asks why the campaigns of the Ministry of Interior have not succeeded in eradicating this “menace”.

Khaled-Al-Maeena

Khaled-Al-Maeena

He states that the ongoing control of the retail sector by expatriate workers kills any job opportunities for Saudi nationals and negatively affects the Kingdom’s economy. In observing our Arabic press, I have noticed that from time to time negative and racist comments have been made by some writers against expatriates. It may be that these journalists are suffering writer’s block or that they can think of nothing else to write about. However, it should be made clear to them that the use of a term like “virus” is a racist comment. Perhaps the attitude of these Saudi writers is: “Expatriates are an easy target so why not have a go at them?”

Mr. Al-Dosari does not ask why the retail sector cannot retain any Saudi workers. And it appears that he has made no effort to ask the owners of shops for an explanation. Well, I will tell Mr. Al-Dosari that there is a shop and many others that I know of which closed because the Saudi employees did not turn up for work. At a well-known supermarket in Jeddah, six of eight checkout counter clerks were missing on a recent Friday morning. Probably gone fishing!

As for the absence of Saudi women in the retail sector, the writer should be well aware that the mere thought of women working in retail makes the self-appointed guardians of our morals scream and shout. To them the sight of a woman at the sales counter is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. read more>>>>

Stop Insulting Expat Workers : By: Khaleed Almaeena (Editor-at-Large / Saudi Gazette)

Automated Overseas Voting Successfully Starts in Riyadh and Al Khobar


OFW Libao, the first to Vote

OFW Libao, the first to Vote

(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.

Ambassador Ezz Tago

Ambassador Ezz Tago

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:

Venue:

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
See  http://riyadhpe.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/component/content/article/114-overseas-voting/2325

Registered overseas voters whose names appear in the CLOV under POLO Al Khobar; registered seafarers

See http://riyadhpe.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/component/content/article/114-overseas-voting/2326

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
2)Voter’s ID
3)Any PHL-issued ID
4)Iqama
5) Seaman’s book (if seafarer)

Reminders:

  1. Inspect your voter receipt and drop it in the receipt receptacle. Do not leave voting area with the voter receipt. 
  2. Taking photographs of the ballot or the voter receipt is an election offense.
  3. 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

                                    XXX

“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.”

XXX

“2) On candidacy and campaign:

XXX

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

No to Vote Buying!


I posted in our blog a couple of years back how to minimize or eradicate vote buying in our country during elections. One ideal solution is to educate voters how important our right of suffrage is. It is our obligation as a citizen in our country to participate in an honest to goodness election that in the long run could shape up the shattered bits of our Philippine politics.   

According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, “we can educate voters as much as we can, but we cannot legislate good behavior”.  I totally agree with Mr. Jimenez, but how can we eradicate or perhaps lessen the impact of vote buying and voter behavior?  

picsmeme-conscience-quotes-05Vote buying usually occurs in a hot contested barangay and municipalities where voters are nominal in counts. Poor electorate or poverty stricken areas are more susceptible to vote buying. A single candidate will see to it that voters receive monetary consideration during the election period, spending millions of peso budget for that purpose ranging from PHP 100.00 to a PHP 1,500.00 per voter in the rural communities. Two Million Pesos in a PHP 500.00 each for a mere 4,000 population of registered voters in a small municipality.  

In a partisan politics, usually a party will set aside a certain bigger budget to buy votes in return for a block vote in favor to the members of the whole party. Therefore, a contesting group with huge financial machineries will make sure that the highest bid is realize in favor to their respective parties.  

It is also normal that a monetary favor can influence the result of votes even in areas where populations are of consanguinities to each other. “Money is thicker than blood” shall we say are more important in Philippine election rather than what a sincere relative or a candidate can offer for the progress of their locality in general. Recent elections in the Philippines revealed that at least a major and well organized parties bought votes during election.

The Comelec has a well in place guidelines, punishments and other  prescribed measures to be taken based on the complaints of vote buying, however the sweet smell of victory by any means doesn’t stop politicians from buying votes especially when  automated voting system is introduced in the country. 

Vote buying doesn’t only corresponds of directly offering or accepting cash monies on the spot, it means “Any person who promises money or anything of value in order to induce anyone to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in the election.”

The Comelec admits in the rappler.com online article that “with the automated voting system in the country, candidates could no longer influence canvassers and teachers on the outcome of the election report, since machines do the work, so politicians and their coordinators had to focus on what they could affect and that’s through vote buying.”

In order to control vote buying, non-government organizations and concern citizen who still believes that our votes are sacred should be vigilant during the election period. Who are those in target for monitoring? Coordinators or individuals connected to political parties or candidates and so with our population at large should be monitored. Report those electoral payoffs and identify those persons involved and file a complaint with the Comelec. Don’t forget to use the high technology gadget in reporting those to be implicated, such as photos of the transaction, taped conversation that can be uploaded to social working sites, blogs and media as well. Politicians mobilize propagandas during campaign periods in networking sites and why we could not mobilize ourselves in exposing politicians who buy votes and voters accepting monies in favor of their votes?

Once and for all, to avoid vote buying, the continuing voter education should be focused at an early school age of every Filipinos. The school is the best venue and student participation in the primary and secondary levels in choosing their student leaders is a must that will represent the student organ in the governance of the Academe; with emphasis on choosing the right candidates that could eventually become the future leaders in our country.   

Politicians choose one form of electoral investment strategy – the VOTE BUYING and the result can affect the lives and welfare of the poor Filipinos and the country as a whole. “NO TO VOTE BUYING! BE VIGILANT, REPORT AN ELECTION FRAUD!”  – BongA

Overseas Filipinos Urge to Vote


According to the DFA-Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS), there will be over one million active registered overseas absentee voters (ARVs) for the Overseas Absentee Voting in the May 2016 elections.

DFA-OVS chair Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said that “this is the first time in the history of Philippine overseas voting that we will have over one million active overseas registered voters for an election. Their desire to actively participate in our political process could be a sign that our democracy has reached a new level of maturity.”

Your+Voice+Your+Vote+logoAs a mature voter, this is our turning point to make a difference in who wins in the coming election. This is the time that we will show our unity and to prove that our sector has the strength to change the electoral outcome of Philippine politics. We, therefore, urge our fellow registered absentee voters to  exercise our right of suffrage this coming April 9, 2016 to May 9, 2016 and have our opportunity  to be heard in the ballot.

As we belong to a democratic country, we have our freedom of choice and could not be dictated by anyone. We should look at candidates based on our faith, and supporting the candidates whose values we feel best align with our own.

In today’s Philippine politics, we should not look for a party system, and be identified either of those parties. It’s very important to find out what the candidates stand for the welfare of our sector.

Deuteronomy 1:13 says “Choose some well-respected men from each of your tribe who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will appoint them as your leaders.

From: Ofwempowerment Blog

Gulf countries changing recruitment pattern


The economic downturn of some Middle Eastern countries due to the fall of oil prices will lead to a budget deficit in 2016 and succeeding  years to come.  New economic reforms such as massive job cuts will also affect employment opportunities of  overseas Filipino contract workers.  Massive retrenchment of employees in oil and gas sectors in the Middle East will also influence other sectors like real estate and financial institutions.   A domino effect will follow, that could touch other small business sectors as well.

RepCover-Compensation2016Businesses in the affected countries will find alternative ways to maintain their budget by way of hiring local employees rather than hiring expatriate workers. Some employers in production and construction industries are now taking the conventional approach by hiring employees with modest wage that could sustain profitable outcome of their production. 

Gulf countries are also changing recruitment patterns, “following robust hiring activity in the first half of 2015, firms across the region have become increasingly cautious in hiring. Faced with a cooling business environment, many have limited recruitment to replacement hiring only. A significant number are undertaking restructuring, merging job roles or outsourcing entire departments to reduce costs and improve efficiency. With all hiring under scrutiny, there is growing demand for multi-tasking generalist candidates who can undertake a wide range of duties,” according to the research titled “2016 Employment and Salary Trends in the Gulf” by Gulf Talent, a leading job site for professionals in the Middle East and Gulf region.

A number of companies surveyed by GulfTalent mentioned plans to make some staff redundant in 2016, with firms in Saudi Arabia expected to witness the most job cuts, given the country’s higher dependence on oil revenues and the extent of planned austerity measures. – BongA (3/19/2016)

Our Condolences to the family of Rep. Roy Seneres


imagesOFW Empowerent blog and the Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) mourns the death of former Philippine Ambassador and incumbent Congressman Roy Seneres.

Señeres, 68, died of cardiac arrest triggered by complications brought about by his long bout with diabetes on February 8, 2016.

He was the former Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 1994-1998. He chaired the National Labor Relations Commission of the Department of Labor and Employment from 2002 to 2005. During the 2013 elections, he won a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives as a representative of the OFW Family  party-list.

Petition: Create a Department of Migration and Development


Please sign our Petition

There are an estimated 10 million Filipinos working and living abroad, almost half of them are women. In 2014, they remitted a total amount of US$ 26.3 billion which accounted for approximately 8.5% of GDP in 2014. Remittances are not only lifeline of millions of families left behind but also propel the economy of the country.

BhIurMyzemoqHup-800x450-noPadIn spite of this huge remittance flows, a large number of Filipino migrant workers return to their country without being able to adequately prepare for their reintegration.

Migrant workers particularly women are more prone to various forms of abuses at home and in the host countries. There is dismal government record in protecting and promoting the rights of migrants. Responses from various Philippine agencies engaged in migration remained incoherent and fragmentary because there is no single agency that is coordinating all migration-related issues and takes full responsibility on how to help migrant workers and their families. The social cost of migration is enormous that no amount of remittances can compensate this loss.

We believe that managing migration is not enough and that the development component is crucial to ensuring a sustainable policy; i.e., by harnessing the potential of migration and migrants’ remittances for development, particularly in the countryside.

We recently learned the existence of a house bill that proposes the creation of a “Department for Overseas Workers” to manage the deployment and reintegration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs): 16th Congress, 1st Regular Session, House Bill No. 191, introduced by Rep. Rosemarie J. Arenas, dated 1 July 2013.

We call for the passage of this HB 191 but to be renamed as the creation of a “Department of Migration and Development.” This department will not only manage Philippine migration but also enhance its potential for sustainable development.
As a cabinet-level department, we envision a Department of Migration and Development that exclusively focuses on the welfare of the OFWs, streamlines all services of sub-agencies serving overseas Filipinos, and institutionalizes the fiscal autonomy of the OFW trust fund (currently under OWWA).

  • We call our government, candidates for 2016 election policy makers to heed our call.
  • We call for an open and transparent process in the selection of overseas Filipinos who will be consulted in the re-drafting of this House Bill.
  • We call on all overseas Filipinos to support this cause to ensure that their interests and of their families and loved ones back home will be duly represented.

Click here >>>>>> to sign the Petition

OVERSEAS FILIPINOS WORLDWIDE

How to be an Entrepreneur from Employee while Working Abroad?


aaFor sure all that glaze and curiosity was there, the moment you landed in this country with a zillion dreams to professionally accomplish what you desired throughout your career. Indeed, making a move to any foreign land is all about the right opportunity at the right time. However, there are many who beg to differ and think otherwise.

It sure does entice you to move abroad and enjoy perks with the best of global corporations. Growth seems good and so are the chances to progress in the field without any hitches. This does give you a moment to rejoice, but is being your own boss is all you’ve been boggling your head over?

Well, it was for sure tricky back in your country and would certainly won’t be a child’s play while working abroad. Considering the shift and a zillion constraints you’ve to heed to, here are a few tips that will make the process highly comprehensive and organized.

Localize your Idea to Make the Right Fit

For you have worked for sufficient time in the country, it should be fairly easy on your part to understand the cultural and working preferences of those working and living around you. This stands imperative as diving into the local culture is the first pre-requisite to be fulfilled by any budding entrepreneur. Look around you at work, there are a number of people who belong to the country and can mentor you during the initial stages. They can help you guide what the consumers in the country desire and the right hacks that would make your la highly workable.

If it doesn’t happen this way, look up at various social media websites and find people in your vicinity. Join meetup groups and customize your idea to suit the audience preferences in the country. Study the market and find out the kind of startups that have been gaining thrust in the country. In case you have a different plan, find common factors that can connect you to the audience at a personal level.

Dig in Deep for Infrastructure

The best part about scoring a job abroad is that you get to earn your own network. Be it the initial workforce you need or the references that will help you score investors, there’s ample you can accomplish, just with your network.

However, one major factor you’re ought to miss during the entire process is the infrastructure you need to develop for your business to bloom. Dig deep into the market and find out about factors like political schemes, logistics, transportation, economic stability and other utilities. These would surely make a huge difference later in the game. Make sure you have everything covered from the get go!

Study Your Competition

It’s surely great if you are thinking about making a switch to a business in the same field. This would give you a head start on all the knowledge bank one requires to build prior to the launch. However, even if you’re not, competition is one thing you need to be highly watchful about.

Probably, there are a multiple other startups working on the same idea with a different approach. Not only this, also study about the companies that came with a similar concept to yours and failed in the country. Find out the reasons and keep them in due consideration during the future steps.

Keep the Laws on your Tips

The biggest hitch while making a shift to your startup abroad is the set of laws you’ve to deal with. Your company getting subjected to unfamiliar regulations is the last thing you desire. Hence, make it a point to have ample legal exposure prior to your agreement with various investors and distributors. Get solid contracts with all your partners and stay on the secure side.

Things are numerous to be said and done. However, the right preparation with appropriate research will only make the right shift from job to startup happen in a smooth way.

Author Bio: Anshuman Kukreti is an ofwempowerment blog article contributor. He is professional writer and a keen follower of the global job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

POEA chief to presidential bets: Help OFWs innovate


12.10.2015: MANILA, PhilippinesPhilippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Leo Cacdac advised presidential candidates to put on their agenda innovations in existing electronic systems for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“Off the top of my head, [they should include in their platforms the] further enhancement of electronic systems so it’s easier for OFWs to update their registration profiles. It’s easier for government agencies to keep track who are the documented OFWs, as to who are licensed recruiters, who are the illegal recruiters,” Cacdac told Rappler in an interview on Wednesday, December 9.

Various electronic programs are already in place that aim not only to ease registration processes for OFWs but to protect them from illegal recruitment as well.

poeamnpowerThe POEA has an online portal where Filipinos seeking employment overseas may register through the POEA’s Government Placement Branch. Licensed recruiters are likewise required to register online. (READ: POEA to recruiters: Use ‘electronic systems’ in hiring OFWs)

In partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment, the POEA also implements a program called Balik Manggagawa Online Processing System, which allows vacationing OFWs who are rehired by their employers to secure an overseas employment certificate digitally.

Licensed recruiters are also required by the Philippine government to have an official Facebook page to serve as a communication platform for deployed house service workers, to prevent disputes, to endorse complaints, and to submit reports to the POEA. (PODCAST: Ethical recruitment of OFWs)

“We still could do so much more in terms of improved access, meaning how to get into the system, overcoming certain glitches with respect to certain cases where some OFWs get disconnected as soon as they are connected, uploading of photographs, facilitation of the electronic payment facility, small things like that,” said Cacdac. (READ: ‘Slow’ gov’t process makes OFWs fall for illegal recruiters)

The POEA chief also said the presidential candidates should make OFW concerns an election issue.

“I think OFW concerns matter to not just the OFWs themselves but [for] many Filipino families. Their welfare and protection is utmost,” Cacdac said.

POEA records show that in 2014, there were 1,832,668 OFWs – 1,430,842 land-based and 401,826 sea-based.

‘Push the OFW agenda’

For the POEA chief, OFWs would need the next president to have a “strong stance” in the protection of the rights of migrant workers as well as the facilitation of ethical recruitment.  to read more>>>>

APEC member countries hosting Filipinos : Welcome to the Philippines!


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA)

Delegate: US President Barack Obama

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF FILIPINOS = 3,535,676

CANADA

Delegate: Canadian Prime Minister  Justin Trudeau

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF FILIPINOS = 721,578

NEW ZEALAND

Delegate:  New Zealand Prime Minister  John Key

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF FILIPINOS = 39,091

OTHER COUNTRIES

Source: Wiki, Philippine Embassy websites, Rappler.com, Youtube

Sources: Wiki, Philippine Embassy websites, Rappler.com, Youtube, Inquirer.net and others.

Finding Out Who Among Them – 2016 National Election


In Philippine May 2016 National Election, registered Overseas Absentee Voters should focus on finding out who among in the national candidates for President to Vice President and Senators  worthy of our vote.  

The OFW sector should be well represented by those legislators who are really concerned with issues in relation to the general welfare of Overseas Filipinos or OF. Please note that I referred Overseas Filipinos as Filipino Immigrants with dual citizenship, Filipino migrant workers and land based and seafarers.

Sad to say that there are few OFW supporters in the legislative body  of our government.  In the 16th Congress, the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs are comprised of  35 members, the 4 among them are identified as OFW advocates.  Bills authored and co-authored by those OFW advocates are still pending or referred to another house committee for evaluation. Some of those bills even lasted for 2 to 3 years on their shelves. Undoubtedly, it will never be deliberated or acted upon or even reach on the second reading or be included in the order of business.  Remember, that every House Bills are still subject of Senate action which undergoes the same legislative procedures.

Would the above scenario be corrected? Yes! Why not? The legislator who is an OFW advocate, an author or just a co-author of the bill can influence the members of the committee being referred, to speed up the process by conducting  immediate public hearings on the proposed legislation.  Non-government organizations, expert on migration, OFW/Seafarers organizations (overseas and at home) or individuals whose advocacies focused on the main issues and concerns of OFWs should likewise be pro-active to pressure the members of the committee to move to the next level of the process.  Sorry to say that some of our OFW advocates in the House and the Senate are busy focusing on other matters in their other areas or field of expertise. Some of those bills can be included in the lists of the “Silliest Proposed Laws Philippine Lawmakers Tried to Pass.” 

According to “The Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation”, Policy advocacy is an initiative to focus exclusively on the policy agenda and a specific policy goal. These advocates usually assume that policy change will produce real change on the ground.

So, in the coming national election, I arrived into a simplest form of identifying those politicians in line with our cause by rating them on how they managed to support on certain OFW issues at the House and the Senate. Others can be identified on how many bills they authored or co-authored during their incumbencies.  How many of those bills signed into law, how many resolutions they filed for the general welfare of Filipinos overseas.   

I personally categorized the following 2016 aspiring candidates at the national level into four (4) categories:        

  1. PRO-OFW – A politician who advocates, argues, defend, participate or justify policies in relation to the general welfare of Overseas Filipinos/ OFWs.
  2. CONSIDERATE –  A politician with a specific position on certain issue or concerns in relation to the welfare of Overseas Filipinos.
  3. MODERATE – A politician whose legislative agendas focused on another field of advocacies and rarely participate on issues and concerns of OFWs. 
  4. UN-RATED –  To be rated or categorize later on.

candidates

CLICK HERE for the Official candidates for Senator in the May 9, 2016 national elections.

CLICK HERE for the organizations participating in the 2016 party-list elections.

SR2,000 fine for keeping workers’ passports: Ministry


JEDDAH — An employer who keeps the passports of his employees will be fined SR2,000 and the one who does not provide a copy of the contract to workers will be fined SR5,000, according to the new regulations of the Ministry of Labor.

A fine of up to SR15,000 will be imposed on an employer who forces his workers to do jobs not specified in the contract or if he asks workers to bear those expenses which he is liable to pay.

Fines will also be imposed on companies if they delay the payment of salaries, force employees to work extra hours without overtime payment, or force them to work during official weekends and holidays.

Fines-640x525

Violations also include forcing workers to work in the heat or in bad weather conditions without proper precautions.

Fines will be imposed on employers who deprive workers form getting recommendation letters or if a company does not provide training to at least 12% of its Saudi employees, according to the regulations.

Companies will be fined up to SR25,000 if they falsely claim the employment of Saudis or if they employ expatiates in jobs that are restricted to Saudis. Such companies will also be closed for five days.

Selling visas to expatriates results in a fine of SR50,000. Employing an expatriate without a license results in a fine of SR45,000.

Companies employing men on jobs marked for women will be fined SR10,000 for each male employee and will be closed for one day. Other fines are also specified for employing women in mixed areas and forcing them to work during banned working hours. Fines for such violations range between SR10,000 and SR5,000.

The ministry specified a fine of up to SR25,000 for companies violating safety and health standards. This also includes employing minors. The ministry also specified fines ranging between SR10,000 and SR20,000 on recruitment offices if they do not get license from the ministry before any recruitment process or if they do not register the services they provide on the system of the ministry.

Businesses owners will be fined SR25,000 if they provide false information to the Ministry of Labor and SR10,000 if they create problems in the work of the ministry’s investigation officers.

Fines for each violation will be doubled in case it is committed again.  A company is required to pay the fine within one month otherwise it will be considered a repetition of the violation.

Companies can appeal within 60 days after the violation has been registered.

Fatima Muhammad
Saudi Gazette

Related News Item:

A maximum SR100,000 fine for new labor law violation 

Approved amendments to KSA Labour Law

OFW Party List Representative Roy Seneres files COC for Presidency


Straight to his promise,  OFW Family Party-List representative Roy Seneres files his certificate of candidacy in the last day of filing at Comelec seeking the highest office in the country.  

OFW Family Party-List representative Roy Seneres at the Bureau of Customs during the Balikbayan Box issue

OFW Family Party-List representative Roy Seneres at the Bureau of Customs Balikbayan Box issue

I don’t know if this post will help his candidacy or not, but as what I’ve  said in my previous blog post, I am not against the former ambassador, but I just can’t fathom  why such a big ambition instead of focusing or concentrating himself to the issues and concerns of his constituents and bring their voice in the lower house of Congress where we put him to serve.

I voted OFW Party-List in the last election and I am truly proud that we’ve made it  after long years of battle to be represented in Congress.  Honest enough, we are right, Seneres filed, authored and co-authored bills intended for the general welfare of OFWs.

However, an online news item  about those bills using the word “benefiting” is not true.  The word benefited means “we reap what we have sown”. In the case of Seneres nothing yet of those bills authored or co-authored by him benefits us OFW as of this writing. Those bills are still pending in various committees in Congress. There is one particular bill pending in the Senate “an act granting the OFWs the right to equal protection of money claims.”  But this bill is still subject for deliberation in the Senate prior to final approval.

Yes! I agree that those pending bills once approve by Congress and in the Senate, can ease the burdens  the OFWs are into for many decades since the Filipino labor migration was introduced.

I do believe, Congressman Seneres is very sincere to serve the OFW sector, however climbing up the highest ladder where there is no guarantee that he can reach the peak and sit on that pedestal is like mastering a craft against his own volition. For me, it is not yet the time and if the time comes,  the OFWs and families themselves who voted the OFW Family Party-List are the ones who will decide for him to stand and have it done, not those new labor organizations set up for the purpose of his candidacy. 

Sir, it is your prerogative to run for the Presidency, I can’t argue more, but still, my one vote can’t guarantee you of winning. 

My sincere apology if this post harms your candidacy,  on the other hand, maybe this post can boost your standing in the race for President.  

And in fairness to OFW Family Part-List  Representative Roy Seneres, please find below bills co-authored and authored by him in the Philippine Congress pending before house committees which is relevant to the concerns and issues of the Overseas Filipino Workers.  -end-

Bills and Resolutions co-authored and authored by Congressman Roy Seneres (OFW Family Party-List) in the Philippine Lower House of Congress

27 House Bills excluding Privilege Speeches,  11 of those are Authored House Bills relevant to the Welfare of OFWs (see below).

  1. HB02190

[History] [Text As Filed, 845k]

AN ACT REQUIRING AMBASSADORS/HEADS OF MISSION TO PERFORM AND/OR DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF SURROGATE PARENTS IN TAKING CARE OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (OFWs) IN THEIR AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2013-08-07

  1. HB02579

[History] [Text As Filed, 445k]

AN ACT REQUIRING ALL HEADS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS TO ESTABLISH ‘OFW FAMILY HELP DESKS’ IN THEIR OFFICES

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2013-09-03

  1. HB03070

[History] [Text As Filed, 490k]

AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR IMMEDIATE DEPENDENTS OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (OFWs) WHO DIED OR SUFFERED PERMANENT DISABILITIES WHILE WORKING ABROAD OR OVERSEAS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2013-10-14

  1. HB03071

[History] [Text As Filed, 646k]

AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS REMITTANCE REGULATORY COMMISSION AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2013-10-14

  1. HB03576

[History] [Text As Filed, 530k]

AN ACT AUTHORIZING AMBASSADORS, CONSUL GENERALS, CHIEFS OF MISSIONS OR CHARGE D’ AFFAIRS TO ORDER AND DIRECT AN OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKER (OFW) TO SEND SUPPORT TO HIS OR HER LEGAL DEPENDENTS AS REQUIRED BY EXISTING LAWS

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2013-12-16

  1. HB03610

[History] [Text As Filed, 312k]

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A FREE MEDICAL AND HOSPITALIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR THE POOR AND FOR OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (OFWs) WHO ARE AFFLICTED WITH CANCER OR KIDNEY DISEASE AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Status: Pending with the Committee on HEALTH since 2013-12-18

7. HB03678

[History] [Text As Filed, 2,312k]

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A HOSPITAL FOR OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Status: Pending with the Committee on HEALTH since 2014-01-22

8. HB03679

[History] [Text As Filed, 371k]

AN ACT GRANTING SPECIAL PRIVILEGES TO OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (OFWs) IN THE PAYMENT OF SSS, PAG-IBIG AND PHILHEALTH PREMIUMS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2014-01-22

9. HB03719

[History] [Text As Filed, 404k]

AN ACT INSTITUTIONALIZING THE ‘HATID SAYA’ FOR OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS EVERY SIX (6) MONTHS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2014-01-29

10. HB04004

[History] [Text As Filed, 393k]

AN ACT PROHIBITING THE COLLECTION OF ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY IN ANY FORM OR FOR ANY PURPOSE FROM A DEPARTING FILIPINO WORKER AS PRE-CONDITION FOR TRAVEL

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2014-03-04

  1. HB05200

[History] [Text As Filed, 446k]

AN ACT ENSURING THE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE OF FIRST-TIME OVERSEAS WORKERS EMPLOYED IN THE DOMESTIC OR HOUSE-HOLD SERVICE ABROAD BY WAIVING THEIR PHILHEALTH PREMIUM PAYMENT FOR THE FIRST YEAR OF DEPLOYMENT AND ALLOCATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7875 AS AMENDED BY RA 9241 AND 10606 ALSO KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE ACT OF 2013, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2014-11-24

  1. HB00191Journal #25

[History] [Text As Filed, 3,130k]

AN ACT CREATING THE DEPARTMENT OF OVERSEAS WORKERS, RATIONALIZING THE ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES RELATED TO OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Status: Pending with the Committee on GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION since 2013-07-23

  1. HB05988

[History] [Committee Report, 358k] [Text of Engrossed Bill, 41k]

AN ACT GRANTING THE OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS THE RIGHT TO EQUAL PROTECTION ON MONEY CLAIMS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE THE FIFTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 10 OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8042, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10022

Status: Approved by the House on 2015-08-24, transmitted to the Senate on 2015-08-27 and received by the Senate on 2015-08-27

77  Co-Authored House Resolution, 3 are relevant to the Concerns and Welfare of OFWs.

 

3. HB00191Journal #25

[History] [Text As Filed, 3,130k]

AN ACT CREATING THE DEPARTMENT OF OVERSEAS WORKERS, RATIONALIZING THE ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES RELATED TO OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Status: Pending with the Committee on GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION since 2013-07-23

1. HR00699

[History]

A RESOLUTION CONVEYING THE COLLECTIVE FELICITATIONS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE TRIUMPH OF OVERSEAS FILIPINA WORKER ROSE ‘OSANG’ FOSTANES WHOSE PHENOMENAL TALENT BROUGHT HONOR TO THE COUNTRY AND SIGNIFICANTLY RAISED THE IMAGE OF ALL OFWs WORLDWIDE

Status: Pending with the Committee on RULES since 2014-01-27

2. HR00764

[History]

A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY IN AID OF LEGISLATION INTO THE APPARENT CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION OF THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS COMMITTED BY THE PHILHEALTH AND THE PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION (POEA) AND ON THE IMPOSITION OF INCREASED PHILHEALTH PREMIUM ON OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS WITHOUT PROPER CONSULTATION

Status: Pending with the Committee on OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS since 2014-02-19

3. HR01656

[History]

A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS AND THE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION TO JOINTLY CONDUCT AN IMMEDIATE INQUIRY IN AID OF LEGISLATION INTO THE LEGALITY AND PROPRIETY OF MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 8 SERIES OF 2014 ISSUED BY THE MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY (MIAA) DIRECTING THAT EFFECTIVE 01 OCTOBER 2014, OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (OFWs), BOTH LAND-BASED AND SEA-BASED, SHALL PAY PHP 550.00 AS INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER SERVICE CHARGE (IPSC) OR COMMONLY KNOWN AS AIRPORT TERMINAL FEE WHICH SHALL BE INTEGRATED INTO THE AMOUNT OF THE AIRLINE TICKETS THEY PURCHASE, BUT SUBJECT TO REFUND LATER ONCE THEY CAN SHOW PROOF THAT THEY ARE EXEMPTED FROM THE PAYMENT OF TERMINAL FEES

Status: Pending with the Committee on RULES since 2014-11-24

     

OFWempowerment Survey Result “2016 Presidential hopefuls for OFWs”


In the 2016 Philippine Presidential Election, there are five (5) Presidential hopefuls for the highest position in the land; who among them you think have a heart for OFWs?

Our ofwempowerment blog survey (see title above) received an overwhelming response from our OFWs in 20 countries around the globe including in the Philippines. The OFWs in Saudi Arabia are the highest numbers of participants.

I decided to close the survey because most of the 5 Presidential hopefuls in the list had already filed their certificate of candidacy with the Commission on Election. The remaining hopeful Davao Mayor Rod Duterte has yet to file his COC pending echoes among the Philippine electorate whether the famous “crime buster city executive” will change his mind later and join the race. However, yesterday 16 October 2015 was the last day of filing and I think the good Mayor filed his COC seeking a new mandate from the Davawenos as Mayor of Davao. But his supporters “refused to accept the truth” that Duterte is not running for Presidency. 

I would like to emphasize to my readers that our online survey doesn’t reflect the entire sentiments of the OFWs around the globe. However, if majority of us participate in future online surveys like ours, it will become more reliable in the days to come. That’s one of the many reasons why I am advocating online voting as an alternative venue for Filipino overseas absentee voters to participate in Philippine national election.

Well, the result of our survey is pasted below, thank to polldaddy.com.

result

Rodrigo-Duterte-660x600

Photo by Inquirer

You may wonder why OFWs supports Duterte if he runs for the highest position in the land? Very simple, we need an iron fist in our national governance, a public official that can eliminate corruption once and for all. A leader who understand others ideals but opposes armed struggles. A President who knew the real needs of poor Filipinos. A leader like Duterte has an iron hand that can discipline Filipinos to follow the rule of law.

But to most of us OFWs, WE still feel that something will never be the same in this country, whoever in power. Sad to say that too little had really changed and coming back home as strangers to the land we long for is the most discouraging moment of our life.

Many OFWs think Mayor Rod Duterte can reform the nature of the political system in our country unfortunately, this guy is a man of honor who never changes a decision he had already made. Not unless a divine anointing prevails. To Duterte Harry, WE the OFWs salute you!