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PHL Embassy in Kuwait reminds undocumented workers of amnesty program deadline on Feb 22

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, February 9th, 2018

Illegal or undocumented workers in Kuwait have until February 22 to take advantage of the amnesty program that the Kuwaiti government is offering.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has issued the advisory to all undocumented OFWs, warning them of the massive crackdown that the Kuwaiti government will enforce against illegal workers or aliens.

The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry has issued the circular on January 29 extending the amnesty program only until February 22.

Under the program, all overstaying migrant workers will be allowed exit without suffering fines or penalties.

Illegal workers, on the other hand, will be given the chance to process their documents so they can stay in the country legally.

“Pag umalis kayo under na amnesty period ay maari pa kayong bumalik ng Kuwait… walang ban sa pagbalik sa Kuwait… ngunit kung abutan kayo ng crackdown ikukulong kayo at may lifetime ban sa pagbalik sa Kuwait,” Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait, Renato Pedro T. Villa said.

( Translation: If you leave within the amnesty period, you may still return ti Kuwait…there is no ban on returning to Kuwait…but if the crackdown catches up with you, you will be jailed and banned for life from returning to Kuwait.)

Based on Kuwaiti government data, the number undocumented Filipino workers in the country has already reached a little less than 11,000.

Most of them are domestic helpers who often fall prey to illegal recruitment or have expired working visas.

However, the Philippine Embassy has only received around 300 applications for the amnesty program.

Once these applications are given clearance by the Kuwaiti government, they will be allowed to go home.

The Department of Foreign Affairs had also sent auxiliary personnel to assist the OFWs in the processing of their amnesty program applications. – Bert Cerudo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Acquitted Pinay in UAE arrives home

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Overseas Filipino worker Jennifer Dalquez with her parents

MANILA, Philippines – Jennifer Dalquez, the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was sentenced to death in 2015 in the United Arab Emirates but later acquitted of the murder of her employer, finally arrived home in the Philippines on Friday (November 2).

Dalquez was acquitted after the Philippine Embassy appealed her case.

On Thursday (November 1), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in a statement commended the efforts of the Philippine Embassy for saving her from death row.

Dalquez is a native of General Santos City. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

 

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Filipinos in Saudi Arabia reminded of punishment over spreading rumors, fake news

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2018

 

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

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Revised SSS charter promises expanded benefits for members

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines — The bicameral conference committee has recently approved the revised charter of the Social Security System (SSS) which promises expanded benefits for its members.

The new SSS charter will provide compulsory coverage to overseas Filipino workers (OFW), and increase its loan allotment such as salary loan and retirement benefits.

The measure will also have a lower penalty for overdue contributions from three to two percent. It also promises financial assistance for two months, amounting to half of the monthly salary, for its members who lost their jobs.

“Yung mga nawawalan ng trabaho dahil for example, kumpanya na lumilipat sa ibang bansa or nagsara ang kumpanya dahil nagkaroon ng kalamidad, dapat matulungan natin yung mga empleyado doon na mamuhay o magkaroon man lamang ng supplemental income habang sila ay naghahanap pa ng mapapasukang panibago,” said SSS Media Affairs AVP Luisa Sebastian.

Among those who are looking forward to avail of the SSS unemployment insurance are contractual workers, Mirasol Salvante and Raffy Malacad. They said this would help them sustain their needs while they look for another job when their six-month contract expires.

“Kung walang budget pa mag-aantay. Pahinga muna ganun…mag depend ka ulit sa pamilya mo,” said Salvante.

“’Pag nawalan ng trabaho wala ka agad maasahan na makukuha kasi hindi regular,” said Malacad.

The SSS, however, clarified that not all active members will benefit from the proposed policy.

“Yun ang magiging problema natin, actually kung hindi ka regular na nagbabayad sa SSS, naaapektuhan yung iba mong benepisyo sa SSS,” said Sebastian.

In order to strengthen their fund, the SSS would have to hike the monthly contribution of its members. Under the proposed law, the 11% monthly contribution will increase by 1% starting next year, and gradually hike up to 15% by year 2025.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, meanwhile, welcomes the new SSS charter. However, they are proposing some amendments in its provisions.

“Ang aming panukala ay dapat 6 months na bigyan ng unemployment insurance at yung 6 months na yun ay sapat na panahon para makahanap ulit ng trabaho yung ating mga miembro ng SSS,” said TUCP Spokesperson Alan Tanjunsay.

The group added the agency should also strictly monitor factors that might affect its operations such as the status of its investments, fight against delinquent employers and giving of large bonuses to its employees.

The Social Security Act of 2018 awaits President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature before officially becoming a law. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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