Philippines Embassy in Kuwait
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has confirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait recently summoned Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa.
The Kuwaiti government, according to Cayetano, wanted to make sure that the efforts of the Philippine diplomatic staff to rescue distressed Filipino workers in the Gulf state are in accordance with the Kuwaiti law and that the Philippines is not abusing its labor system.
Cayetano said there is an urgent need to rescue all distressed OFWs in Kuwait due to incidents of serious abuses and threats. He made sure his department is moving in coordination with the Kuwaiti authorities.
“Kasi these are cases na may grave danger at pwedeng life or death ang pinag-uusapan sa OFW… kapag hinintay mo ang normal process, may katagalan,” Cayetano explained.
(There are cases that involve grave danger and potentially life threatening for the OFW…if you wait for the normal process, it will take time.)
Nevertheless, the secretary believes the misunderstanding between the two countries will soon be settled.
“We will do our best to clarify all of these and to assure our friendship with the Kuwait government and that our people there are safe. In the same manner that we’re assuring them na ang (that their) national state nila dito sa Pilipinas (in the Philippines) will be kept safe and will be protected,” he said.
Cayetano also stressed the importance of listening to the concerns of the Kuwaiti government before signing the bilateral agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait and also before lifting the total ban on employment of OFWs in the Gulf state.
Cayetano will meet with Ambassador Villa to further verify the situation of OFWs in Kuwait in connection with the issue. – Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue
Filipinos in Saudi Arabia reminded of punishment over spreading rumors, fake news
Saudi flag flying over consulate building | REUTERS
KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA – The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh has warned Filipinos in the Kingdom to “avoid producing, spreading, or sharing electronically, anything that compromises public order, religious values, public morals and privacy.”
In an advisory released October 17, the Embassy said the Saudi government considers these activities as cyber crimes.
Those who will be caught guilty of the practice will be punished with imprisonment of up to five years and payment of fines up to three million Saudi riyals or about P43 million.
The advisory further stated that similar penalty will be applied if rumors and fake news are prepared and shared electronically, or if said information remains stored in a computer and in various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Messenger and Instagram among others. – Marje Pelayo
Repatriation underway for 1,470 displaced OFWs in Al Khobar
More than 1,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia have been displaced after they were locked out by their employer, Azmeel Contracting Corporation.
Labor Secretary Bello III, Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac and several officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Health(DOH) already flew to Al Khobar to help in the repatriation of the affected OFWs.
“Makikipag-usap ako sa minister of labor ng Saudi Arabia para sa pagpapauwi ng ating mga OFW at hilingin ang tulong ng pamahalaan ng Saudi para sa paghahanap ng trabaho sa ibang lugar, gayundin ang tulong-legal para sa mga monetary claims ng mga manggagawa mula sa kanilang employer,” said Bello.
Based on the report received by OWWA, Azmeel Contracting Corporation excluded its employees from their place of work after the Saudi government froze its assets.
Before the lockout incident, the employer failed to pay the workers’ four months wages, which led the workers to protest.
The government has sent an initial US$50,000 financial aid to the affected OFWs. — Yssa Jalmasco
109 undocumented OFWs return home from Dubai
Undocumented OFWs who availed the amnesty program of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Department of Foreign Affairs
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday brought home 109 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dubai.
The agency has now repatriated a total of 838 OFWs since the amnesty program began in August.
The Office of Migrant Workers Affairs shouldered airline tickets, exit fines and other penalties of the returning OFWs.
Each of the repatriates were given financial assistance of P5,000 as part of the government’s “all-out support” for the returning OFWs.
“Your presence here today demonstrates the kind of care and compassion President Duterte has for our overseas workers,” Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said
She also reminded all Filipinos who are seeking employment overseas to make sure that they go through the proper application process and follow the rules and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Undocumented Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines under this program will be assisted by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes encouraged qualified Filipinos to take advantage of the UAE’s amnesty program before the 31 October 2018 deadline, to give the Embassy and the Consulate General ample time to process the necessary documents.