Patnubay’s opinion on the said CRACKDOWN sa Saudi Arabia

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Patnubay’s opinion on the said CRACKDOWN sa Saudi Arabia

Team, maari nyong gamitin sa inyong mga statements ang mga nakasulat sa baba.. or maari nyong i-share ang lahat statements sa baba but please make proofreading muna sa grammar and typos…

Pasensyahan nyo na po at minadali ito at wala na akong panahon para magreview nito dahil nasa biyahe po tayo habang ginagawa natin ito.. ito ay para may makukuha kayo ng mga impormasyon tungkol sa issue na ito..   – by Tas Espiritu

Absconding

As per Saudi Immigration Law, absconding is a criminal offense and is punishable by 6 months jail terms or 2 thousand Riyals penalty and deportation. It is an obligation of the employer or company to file a report in the nearest police station, about the absconding worker within 24 hours.

Likewise, harboring and transporting (riding a vehicle with) an absconder is also a criminal offense and is punishable by 6 months jail terms and 10 thousand Saudi riyals penalty per person (absconder) and deportation.

As per Saudi labor law, it is illegal for an employer or company to employ an absconder.Most of these undocumented workers were the ones who abscond from their sponsors (original employer).

The reasons for the delay of repatriation or deportation of an absconding worker are the following:

  1. it is hard to convince the employer to issue the NOC (No Objection Certificate) which is one requirement of the jawasat before issuing an exit visa.
  2. Deportation Fees/fines such as the payments to clear absconding records, for the non-renewed iqama, the fees for medical insurance which is now a requirement in renewing an iqama, budget for the plane ticket
  3. verification if the worker has no police records. This takes a long time specially if the worker’s original location is not the same place where he was caught by the authorities.

Note: point number 2 is only required for those workers who have referrals from the Saudi Governor’s Office or from the Philippine embassy; and want to be deported without going to deportation jail. Those who are caught by the authorities and detained in deportation jail will not be asked to pay for the penalties but may take longer time to repatriate.

Freelance visa

There is no such term as a freelance visa.. yet the word freelancer is a popular term used by those migrant workers who purchase their visas from saudi sponsors, for the expat to work for his own or for another employer.

This is illegal because as per the saudi labor law, a migrant worker must only work for his / her sponsor.  The sponsor and the migrant worker or the the company or an individual who employ these so called freelancers commit violations against the saudi labor law.

Many of these sponsors who sell visas don’t have a company of their own. they only sell these visas and will renew their yearly iqama fees for a corresponding amount that must be paid by the migrant workers. These visa  sponsors also ask for yearly fees from the migrant workers who call themselves freelancers.

Most of these so called freelancers do not work for other sponsors but they owned businesses… The punishment for employing or for working to an employer who is not sponsor is 10 thousand saudi riyals and deportation of the worker.

Some distressed workers who became undocumented belong to these so called freelancers. Their problems started when their sponsors did not renew the iqama of the workers or had filed an absconding case against the worker..   or the sponsor and the worker are not in good relationship anymore .. or the sponsor are already caught by the authorities kaya hindi na sya makarenew ng iqama ng worker.. or those freelancers who do not have direct contact with their sponsors but through another person as bridge…  

Dependent visas

It is a privilege of some expatriate workers to bring their families to Saudi Arabia using dependent visa. Many dependents are working even if It is clear in the Saudi labor law and the immigration law that it is illegal for the dependents to work for any employer or company. They dont have a working visa and  their sponsors are their spouses and a company or an employer.

The punishment for this offense is 10 thousand Saudi riyal penalty to those companies or employer who employed the expatriate or the spouse (direct sponsor) plus deportation of the spouse and his whole family.

Hiring and Contract violations

Unlike the first three problems above, some workers were already victims of abuses when they were hired in their countries.. They were deceived and had signed a contract for an employer or company that is not their sponsor (visa). They would become victims of contract substitution because they would be forced to sign another contract once they arrive in Saudi Arabia. The  original contract that was signed in the Philippines were useless since the employer’s name or the company name in the contract is not the real one..

Another contract violation during hiring and contracting.. are for employers or companies who want to hire workers but cant provide working visas.

Then, our POLO did not properly verify the  employment visas and contracts, or the agency used a  reprocessed contract, or the POEA did not review contract and visa carefully before OEC issuance and the immigration officer at the airport allowed the worker to leave our country.

Rights are not protected.

– The rights of the absconders against labor abuses are not protected.. They are always subject to abuses because these workers cannot file  labor cases against their employers who are not their sponsors. The workers are also not protected by the cooperative health insurance law and the  social insurance law.

Crackdown ?

Last february, the Saudi Labor Minister Adel al Fakieh, issued a statement that undocumented workers or absconders can leave the kingdom without paying the penalty. Many migrant workers had inquired with their embassies and consulates because they wanted to be repatriated. It turned out that the statement was just a proposal by the minister.  The decision must not come only from the ministry of labor but the ministry of interior and the jawasat also.

The iqama fee / fine is not the main problems for repatriating an undocumented worker but the No Objection Letter from the employer…

One thing is clear here there are many workers who want to go home… (Note:  Ang No Objection Letter also known as NOC ay letter ng employer na nagpahiwatig na wala syang pagtutol sa pagparepatriate ng worker. Iba ito sa NOC noon para sa lahat ng migrants documented man or hindi. Noon kasi, sa wala pa yong 2005 version Saudi Labor Law, hindi makakabalik ang isang migrant worker kung wala syang NOC galing kanyang dating sponsor na nagpahiwatig na wala itong pagtutol kung babalik ito at magtrabaho ulit  sa Saudi)

Last week, it was mentioned in the news that there would be a crackdown of undocumented migrant workers. To us it is not a crackdown but a strong implementation of the law.. Mayroon namang hulihan na nangyari even before.. kaya nga palaging may laman ang ang mga deportation jails at puno ang mga ito.

It is also not true yong report na hindi pwedeng mabisita ang deportation jails, dahil tayo sa patnubay ay palaging bumibisit naman doon sa mga kaso natin para magdala ng pera at kumot or damit sa kaso natin na nakakulong sa deportation.

Why this strong implementation of getting rid of undocumented workers?

The answer is Nitaqat (Saudization).. since 2011 seryoso si minister al fakieh and the Saudi government sa nitaqat.. seryoso sya sa tamang percentage ng number of saudi workers versus sa number of migrant workers sa isang company or employer,,.  

Ang problema, hindi maachieve ang tamang percentage at hindi maging successful ang nitaqat kung may mga undocumented workers (absconders, freelancers at workers with dependent visa) na nagtratrabaho sa mga companies and employers.. Yan yong main reason..

This is not a crackdown kundi pinaigting at pinabilis lang ang pag-implement ng batas.. and this is a good news doon sa mga matatagal na na takas na gusto ng umuwi.

Kung inyong matatandaan noong nag-issue si Minister al Fakieh tungkol sa pagpauwi ng mga undocumented napakaraming mga interesado na mag-avail nito… Pero nang lumabas yong balita ng crackdown, marami naman ang nagrireklamo at humingi ng tulong.. dito maiintindihan natin na hati ang mga undocumented workers, may gustong umuwi at mayroong ayaw pa at gustong pang magtrbaho as undocumented.

Pero sa part ng Saudi arabia, this is their country and they have to implement the law kung sino ang kanilang mahuhuli na nagviolate ng batas at pauwiin ang mga undocumented,, gusto man ng worker or hindi man nya gusto na umuwi.

Reactions

On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 2:59 AM, USec Seguis wrote:

Joseph, I suggest you fine tune this very helpful advisory and post it in FB. Thanks.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 3:02 AM, Joseph Henry B. Espiritu  wrote:

dear usec.. yes sir pagdating ko ng leyte, nasa biyahe lang ako ngayon at mahina ang signal po..

From: Joseph Henry B. Espiritu

Date: Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 3:29 AM

Subject: Re: Discreet: Patnubay’s opinion on CRACKDOWN

To: Loreto Soriano

dear ka lito,

nope, it should not be like that because an employer can not file an absconding case against a worker if  nasa red or yellow sila..

in fact we have many cases na expired ang iqama dahil hindi marenew at hindi mapaexit ang workers ng employer..  and we handled their case because our polo does not know the processes…. napauwi naman natin ng maayos.. sa pamagitan ng pagpaliwanag both sa employer at workers sa proceso..

may proceso po na medyo mahaba dahil mawala ng access sa sadad system ang employer para magfile ng exit visa.. kaya legworking lahat.. at kailangan may clearance sa saudi labor office or ministry of labor, then babayaran lahat ng penalties as cheque (not thru bank) dahil wala ng sadad account agn employer.

noon pa man sinisigaw na natin ang mga magiging implication ng nitaqat. yet walang naniniwala sa atin from our government,…

here are some videos

ito lang po muna and God bless,

ka joseph

On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 3:08 AM, Loreto Soriano ceo@e-recruitment.com.ph> wrote:

Dear Joseph,

Maraming salamat sa information and clarification… How about those workers whose employment contract and IQAMA has expired and their employer are classified as either RED or YELLOW. I understand the employer cannot renew the iqama and obtain exit -re entry visa.

What is the estimate of Filipino workers in this situation.  Can they be included among those with expired visa and could be arrested if discovered during random inspections outside and inside their offices and accommodation?

How many of them are still in Saudi Arabia.  Can they still apply to work in Green companies even after the government set

DEADLINE?

Best regards,

Lito

From: Susan Ople

Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2013 01:16:24 +0800 (SGT)

Subject: ople center briefer on Saudi crackdown

To: jun aguilar, Loreto Soriano , “Joseph Henry B. Espiritu”, Ezzedin Tago , alex lucmanHello Amba Tago and to all fellow advocates!

We at the Ople Center would like to help our government and the Philippine Embassy and fellow advocates in an information campaign regarding the crackdown in KSA.

Please find attached a briefer drafted by yours truly based on inputs from fellow advocates particularly Jun Aguilar, Joseph Espiritu and Ka Lito Soriano as well as based on the advisories issued by the Philippine Embassy and Philippine Consulate-General.

May I solicit your valuable opinion on the contents of this briefer as well as suggestions on how to further improve it? I am sure that there are more questions that deserve to be included and answered in the briefer. Once the briefer is finalized, we will upload it on our website and promote it via social media. For Tas, Jun, Lito, and Alex – please feel free to include in your responses the contact details & logos of your respective organizations in case you would also like the workers to get in touch with you.

Thanks!

Toos

From: “Joseph Henry B. Espiritu”

Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2013 16:25:03 +0800

Subject: Re: Various Issues

To: Ezzedin Tago

Salam amba, thank you so much sir. we will put congen alferez in our emails.. Jazak Allah Khair

On 4/5/13, Ezzedin Tago wrote:

Joseph,

With the departure of Consul Reyes, pls cc our new Consul General Mr.  Marshall Louis Alferez at @riyadhpe.com. I have informed him of your group.

At first glance, your comments on the strict implementation of the law,  which is an old regulation, are accurate.

Ezzedin Tago

Old Email Exchanges – re New Saudi Law on Foreign Worker

From: Toots Ople

Subject: Re: old email exchanges: New Saudi law on foreign workers

To: “Joseph Henry B. Espiritu” <

Cc: Loreto Soriano  , HANS CACDAC , Zhariya Silvestre Camid-Alamada  , ellene sana

At dagdagan na ang personnel & resources na naka-assign sa ating embahada at konsulado. Di ba kaya sinara ang 10 foreign posts last year?

Sent from my iPhone

From: “Joseph Henry B. Espiritu”

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 09:36:00 +0300

Subject: Re: New Saudi law on foreign workers

To: Loreto Soriano

Cc: HANS CACDAC , Zhariya Silvestre Camid-Alamada, Susan Ople, ellene sana

Dear Ka lito  and Admin Hans,

  1. i did my normal investigation tungkol sa balita arabnews at nakita ko na hindi naman ito bago sa atin dahil implemented na ito noon pa man; as policy ng ministry of interior

please check  this link for Iqama , Visa Systems Violations & Penalties

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WhVaxU8aQRjLx9WokefFitFhP62P6S_GajK0AxWt64o/edit?usp=drive_web

  1.  Totoo na may session ang shoura council last sunday at  3rd (out of 8) agenda yong amendment of Article 39 and abolition of article 233 of the saudi labor law.

Committee on administrative and human resources affairs, point of view regarding members’ opinions on the request to amend Article (39) and the abolition of Article (233) of the Labor law, and the draft rules dealing

with the arrivals of violators of regulations. –

Source: http://www.shura.gov.sa/wps/wcm/connect/ShuraEn/internet/Session+Agenda/Fifth+term-4th+year/Fifty%20/

What is Article 39 of the Saudi Labor Law?

Article (39):

(1) Unless he has followed the stipulated legal rules and procedures, an employer may not allow his worker to work for others, and a worker may not work for other employers. Similarly, an employer may not employ workers of other employers.

(2) An employer may not allow a worker to work for his own account and a worker may not work for his own account.

What is Article 233 of the Saudi Labor Law?

Article (233):

Violators of the provision of Article (39) of this Law shall be subject to a fine of not less than five thousand riyals and not more than twenty thousand riyals, and the fine shall be multiplied by the number of persons

subject of the violation. The worker shall be repatriated at the expense of the person who employs him.

  1. Bakit kaya  i-abolish yong article 233 ?

Wala akong nakitang reason maliban sa pagkaconflict nito sa mga penalties and fines na policy ng ministry of interior na naimplement na noong 2010 pa lang.

  1. Ano ang maging effect nito ?

Ngayon na naging batas na ito ay mas lalong magiging strict ang implementation nito. Kung noon ay madeport ka lang kung gusto mo ng umuwi ang isang takas or mahuli sya ng police.. Ngayon pababayarrin na sya. Or baka makulong.  Walang magiging pananagutan ang employer dahil nakafile sya ng absconding case sa takas na worker.

Apektado dito yong mga may-ari ng businesses na nagbabayad lang ng visa pero malayang nakapagnegosyo.

Apektado dito ang nagtrabaho ng hawak ay visit visa or yong nagtrabaho sa employer na hindi nya sponsor sa visa or sa iqama.

Maaring maapektuhan ang nasa subcontractor dahil maging violation yan sa article 39… at alam ng ministry of labor na maraming companies ang nagemploy ng workers from subcontractor (or from other sponsors)  para

makaiwas sa nitaqat..

  1. Ano ang dapat gawin ng ating gobyerno at recruitment agencies sa pinas?

Ayusin ang PDOS at ipaalam sa mga workers na huwag talagang tumakas at ipaalam kung ano ang mangyayari sa kanila kung sila ay tumakas.

Magiging mabusisi sa pagcheck  ang poea sa mga visa.. profession at sponsor nito.. siguradohing tama ang lahat bago makaalis ang worker papunta dito.. Dapat pareho ang profession at pangalan ng sponsor sa visa doon sa profession at pangalan ng employer sa contract.

Palitan nyo na nila yong mga labatt na walang kwenta, at alisin yong mga welfare officer na walang alam sa proceso.  Katulad nito, tanungin nyo ang mga yan tungkol sa lumabas na balita at hingan nyo sila ng report kung makagawa ba sila ng katulad ng email na ito.

ito lang po muna and God bless,

joseph

On Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 4:38 AM, Loreto Soriano wrote:

Dear Admin,

May we suggest POEA to secure a certified and authenticate English translation of the new law?

Best regards,

Lito

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Atty. Francisco S. de Guzman

Date: Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Subject: New Saudi law on foreign workers

To: Loreto Soriano

The government should get a certified/authenticated English translation of the new law.

*Atty. Francisco S. de Guzman*

——————————

*Subject:*

ARAB NEWS

Monday 10 September 2012

Last Update 7 October 2012 12:47 pm

JEDDAH: The Shoura Council yesterday passed a law banning expatriates from working for companies and individuals other than their employers or sponsors.

Punitive action would be taken against Saudi sponsors and companies who allow foreigners to work for other employers, the new law said.

The Shoura also passed a draft law that incriminates those who employ visa violators or leave their employees to work on their own or for others or use the workers of other sponsors. Violators face jail sentences not more than five years.

The Shoura decisions augur well with the Labor Ministry’s efforts to regulate job market and create more employment opportunities for Saudis. It also supports the government’s move to crack down on coverup businesses.

The consultative body approved a draft law with 14 articles to deal with expatriates who violate the Kingdom’s regulations including those who overstay Haj and Umrah visas.

“Security agencies shall arrest those who employ expatriates who violate Saudi law as well as those who allow their employees to work for their personal accounts,” the new law said.

According to the draft law, police can arrest those who hide, shelter or transport violators or provide them with any form of assistance as well as those who did not inform authorities about the delay in departure of people whom they brought. “The violators who came on Haj, Umrah and visit visas (and working for individuals and companies) would be deported at the expense of those who employ them,” the law said.

According to the amended Article 39 of the Saudi Labor Law, “An employer is not allowed to leave his employee to work for others, while an employee is not allowed to work for another employer, without following the necessary procedures.”

The Labor Ministry inspectors shall visit companies and institutions to find out violators of the law and hand them over to the Interior Ministry for action. The Shoura agreed to abolish Article 233 of the Labor Law that includes punishment to those who violate Article 39.

Source: http://www.arabnews.com/visa-violators-face-punitive-action

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