Saudi Arabia’s king Salman releases royal order to help stranded OFWs

admin   •   August 5, 2016   •   9052

IMAGE_AUG-05-2016_UNTV-NEWS_SAUDI_ROYAL-DECREE

RIYADH, KSA — Through a royal decree, Saudi Arabia’s king Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has ordered immediate attention to the problems being faced by thousands of Filipino workers in the country.

According to Philippine Embassy Officer-in-Charge Iric Arribas, measures have been discussed during their meeting with representatives of the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development. Aside from repatriation, the Saudi government has vowed to assist the affected Filipinos by administering their transfer of employment to other companies in the country that offer job vacancies.

“We went to the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development last week. I was with Labor Under Secretary Ciriaco Lagunzad, POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac and our Labor attache here, Rustico dela Fuente,” Arribas said.

“They [Saudi representatives] brought us good news that King Salman has issued a royal decree saying, those with expired iqamas and the penalties incurred will be waived. The will also help in facilitating the transfer of sponsorship,” he added.

For now, negotiations are being held to clarify the details of implementation of the said royal decree.

According to Arribas, for now, only big companies like Saudi Oger and Saudi Bin Laden group are among those mentioned in their dialogue with the Saudi ministry of labor.

Nevertheless, they will not set aside the situations of other Filipinos who also have concerns against their respective companies.

He appeals for patience and understanding from our compatriots because they also need to act in accordance with the saudi government.

“As of now, those who are not included in the [mentioned] groups of Filipinos. The assistance for them will be processed next time. But for now, the program of negotiation is only for the OFWs stranded in big construction companies.”

Next week, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III is set to return to Saudi Arabia to personally attend to the developments of the negotiations.

(EUGENE BARDOQUILLO)

Bello tells OFWs: Be entrepreneurs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 15, 2019

Filipino household workers who were repatriated from Kuwait arrive at Manila’s international airport, Philippines, 21 February 2018. According to media reports, Cebu Pacific (CEB) airlines provided airlift support for at least 396 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were repatriated from Kuwait.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III has advised seafarers and other Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to go back to the Philippines and start their own business.

This was his message during the 2019 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition on November 8. The competition is an annual search for the best business proposals among seafarers.

In his message read by Undersecretary Renato Ebarle, Bello assured seafarers that the government, together with the private sector and non-government organizations, is always ready to help OFWs towards productive reintegration.

The competition aims to provide start-up capital, training, and mentoring for the winners and their proposed businesses.

Seafarer Gary Esguerra was hailed as this year’s winner for his “green” slippers business proposal.

Esguerra aims to replace disposable slippers, commonly provided by hotels and resorts, with ‘greener’ slippers made from abaca residue as soles and by incorporating seeds inside the slippers.

He also said the slippers will decompose easier compared to the regular disposable slippers. Esguerra received P500,000 as start-up capital.

Meanwhile, NRCO OIC-Director Roel Martin announced that a similar business plan competition for land-based OFWs is set to be launched in the first quarter of 2020.—AAC

9th OFW Summit in Pasay highlights concepts of financial literacy, entrepreneurship

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – At least 4,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their dependents attended the 9th OFW and Family Summit held on Tuesday at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The event, with the theme “Kabuhayan sa Sariling Bayan,” highlighted the concepts of financial literacy and entrepreneurship as well as business start-ups and trends.

The summit was spearheaded by the Villar Family through its foundation, the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and other government and non-government agencies.

“Masaya po kami dahil napakaraming kababayan na OFW ang nagpunta at nagpakita ng interes sa mga livelihood or business opportunities dito sa Pilipinas na maaari nilang paglagyan ng kinita nila abroad para magkaroon ng sariling kabuhayan dito sa atin,” Sen. Cynthia Villar said in a separate statement.

“Gusto talaga namin na maraming mahikayat na ang katuparan ng mga pangarap ay hindi lamang makukuha kapag tayo ay nag-abroad. Pwede din tayong magtagumpay sa sariling bayan natin,” she added.

Resource persons invited to the summit from various agencies discussed topics on financial literacy and provided guidance on how to seize opportunities and become entrepreneurs.

“Iyon ang intention namin na in the future na babalik sila sa Pilipinas, dapat y’ong mga pamilya nila, mayroon ng hanapbuhay na naghihintay sa kanila para pwede na silang mag-retire at mag-operate na lang dito sa Pilipinas.” Villar told reporters on the sidelines of the summit.

“Hindi nila kailangang magtayo ng restaurant kung ang galing mo care-giving; or ikaw ay graphic artist, pwede kang graphic designer at ‘yon ang iyong negosyo,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Concerns of OFWs on where to find accredited recruitment agencies, what agencies to ask help from for problems abroad, and their rights as overseas workers were also tackled during the event.

Participants also enjoyed a raffle draw with prizes such as a house and lot, motorcycles, pangkabuhayan showcases, appliances, and other gadgets. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

OFW railway engineer returns to PH to help build subway, LRT-2

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 5, 2019

Engineer Deo Miranda

An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) railway engineer in Denmark has returned home to the Philippines in order to help build the LRT-2 subway.

Deo Miranda attended the flag ceremony of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday (November 5).

As a railway engineer in Denmark, Deo has the skills and knowledge to know about the said transportation.

When he stumbled upon a viral post of a cutter head prototype for the Metro Manila Subway Project, he knew what he had to do.

On Monday (November 4), Deo started his work as Engineer IV for the LRT-2 East and LRT-2 West Project Teams. He left his stable job overseas in order to contribute to the development of his country.

“We are here to support our current administration who has the vision and commitment to achieve the comfortable mass transport for Filipinos,” Deo said after receiving the call that confirmed his employment with government.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded Deo’s choice of giving back to country.

“Para sa akin, bayani ang mga OFWs. Bayani sila dahil sila ay nagsasakripisyo at nakikipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa para maiahon ang kani-kanilang pamilya sa hirap. Ngunit talaga ring nakakaantig ng puso kung ang isang OFW, kahit sobrang laki ng kinikita sa ibang bansa, magdedesisyong bumalik at tumulong sa bayan at magsabing: Pilipinas naman (For me, OFWs are heroes. They are heroes because they sacrifice and work overseas in order to help their family. But it is really heartwarming that an OFW, despite the hefty salary overseas, decided to return to help the country: It’s the Philippines’ turn),” he said.

Deo and other OFWs already met with the DOTr and other transport officials at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga in July 2019 to discuss about the country’s transit system.—AAC

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