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Friday, April 19, 2013

OFWs are ambassadors of the Philippines

Overseas Filipino Workers in Arab countries especially in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) must respect immigration and labor laws of their host countries, Vice President Jejomar Binay said Tuesday.

“Remember that you are our ambassadors as well, so your actions also reflect on our country,” Binay reminded OFWs as he repeated his call on Philippine Embassy officials in Saudi Arabia to speed up the processing of papers of undocumented workers who needed to be sent back home and to runaways who needed shelter and legal assistance.

Reports say there are about 80 OFWs camping outside of the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah.

Binay, who is also the Presidential Adviser on OFW concerns, made the appeal as the KSA government implements the April 6 three-month reprieve issued by King Abdullah for foreign workers who have problems with their papers.

The reprieve delays the arrests of foreign workers as well as gives them the opportunity to correct their documents.

Working under employers who are not original sponsors is a violation of immigration laws in the Kingdom.

“For workers affected by the Saudization policy, they need to be able to legally transfer from their original sponsors to their current employers. Workers who have long run away from their original sponsors and no longer have valid residency permits or passports meanwhile are in a different category altogether. Theirs is an immigration problem and no longer a labor one,” the Vice President said.

Saudi Arabia, one of the favorite destinations of Filipino workers, is now observing Nizaqat: a government drive to provide more jobs to Saudi nationals.

There is no amnesty for foreigners illegally staying in Saudi Arabia.

source:  Lyndon Plantilla/PIA Central Newsdesk

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