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Saudi Arabia imposes 5% VAT on basic goods, OFWs advised to spend wisely

by UNTV NEWS   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

International Philippine School in Al-Khobar

The imposition of the government of Saudi Arabia of a five percent Value Added Tax (VAT) will affect the Arab nation’s food and beverage industry, petroleum products, rents of commercial establishments, remittance fee, and domestic transportation, among others.

The VAT already resulted in an increase of almost 55 percent in prices of gasoline.

With this, electricity rates will go up to 300 percent.

Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Raymond Tolosa is already complaining because of a ten percent rise in school tuition this year. He worries it will further increase next year because of additional taxes.

“It’s better to send my children back to the Philippines because it’s more costly to study here,” he said.

However, Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto noted that some Philippine schools in the Arab country might be exempted from the additional taxes if it can prove that they are community schools.

“For schools that have requested for certification, come here at the embassy… we can assure you that we will release a statement saying you are exempted, ” Alonto said.

Exempted from the additional taxes are residential rents, medicines, and medical equipment.

It was in 2016 when the unified agreement for VAT of the cooperation council for the Arab states of the gulf was released. The Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia are among the Arab countries that signed the agreement.

The VAT is a financial measure of Saudi Arabia, which will become one of its non-oil revenue sources.

According to Ambassador Alonto, with this development, Filipinos based in Saudi Arabia should learn how to properly save money.

“Filipinos here know how to endure. We know how to strive for our families,” said Alonto — Bong Duqueza | UNTV News & Rescue

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Russians overjoyed following sensational World Cup victory

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, June 15th, 2018

Soccer Football – World Cup – Group A – Russia vs Saudi Arabia, Rostov-on-Don, Russia – June 14, 2018 Fans celebrate fifth goal. REUTERS/Marko Djurica



Russian fans were all smiles leaving the Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday following Russia’s resounding victory over Saudi Arabia.

Saudi nationals remained gracious following their team’s defeat, maintaining that participation in the tournament was its own reward.

The World Cup opener was anticipated to be anticlimactic as both national teams are among the lowest ranking teams in the tournament. But the teams’ rankings did not detract from the entertainment, as Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0.

The match was the first of 64 that will be played in Russia as part of the tournament. —Reuters

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Teams arrive in Russia as World Cup nears

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr standing with players, posing for photograph. Image grabbed from Reuters video

Various teams arrived in Russia on Monday (June 11) and the early hours of Tuesday (June 12) just a few days before the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Nigeria touched down in Mineralnye Vody early on Tuesday wearing traditional Nigerian dress in the colors of the national team.

On Monday, Mexico arrived in Moscow, Switzerland landed in Samara and Serbia flew into Kaliningrad.

The World Cup begins on Thursday (June 14) when the hosts, Russia face Saudi Arabia at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. — Reuters

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Saudi women issued their first driving licenses

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018


An Arab woman shows her driver’s license (Courtesy: Reuters video)


Saudi Arabia issued driving licenses to women for the first time in decades on Monday (June 4), with the ban on female drivers set to be lifted on June 24.

Footage released by the country’s Center of Government Communication showed the first group of women queuing to receive their licenses before they headed outside to drive on a test track.

The conservative Islamic state had no written law prohibiting women from driving, however Saudi law requires citizens to use a locally issued licence while in the country. Such licences had previously not been issued to women, making it effectively illegal for them to drive.

Allowing women to obtain driving licences is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s bid to diversify the economy away from oil and open up Saudis’ cloistered lifestyles. —Reuters

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