PH Lauds Saudi Removal Of Key Restrictions On Foreign Workers

PH Lauds Saudi Removal Of Key Restrictions On Foreign Workers


In New Education Normal, Volunteers Help Fill Crucial Learning Gaps

“I volunteered because I didn’t want these kids to waste their time learning nothing,” says Emy Tarnate, one of the hundreds of volunteers helping children survive an education system altered by a global health crisis.

ECHO, OXFAM, World Vision, And ADRA Partner To Support Goni-Displaced Families In Bicol

World Vision, along with several of its partners, vows to provide immediate aid to the most affected communities in the hard-hit areas of the Bicol region.

Concerns And Recommendations On Education Amid The Pandemic

READ: First-hand experience of a student amid the pandemic.

Manila International Auto Show Shifts Its Gears Virtually With Mias Wired This December

Catch your favorite brands and cars at this year’s Manila International Auto Show as they go virtual for the first time!

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) described as another milestone in the anti-Kafala campaign abroad the move of Saudi Arabia to remove key restrictions on its foreign workers, giving them the right to change jobs and leave the host country without employers’ permission.

Saudi Arabia is set to implement the “Labor Relation Initiative” starting in March 2021, according to DFA.

This will grant foreign workers, including overseas Filipino workers, the freedom to change jobs by transferring their sponsorship from one employer to another, leave and reenter the country and secure final exit visas without the consent of their employer.

As of June, there are about 865,121 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh’s move follows recent positive developments in the Middle East initiated by Bahrain and Qatar which have already started abolishing the restrictive Kafala.

Qatar is the first country in the Arab Gulf region to allow all migrant workers to change jobs before the end of their contracts without first obtaining their employer’s consent.

Bahrain, on the other hand, took a positive step further with its Flexi Visa system allowing undocumented/irregular workers, including undocumented Filipino migrant workers, to acquire regular immigration status without an employer sponsor.

Since the tragic death of Joanna Demafelis, the Filipina domestic worker who was murdered by her employers and hidden in a freezer in Kuwait, the Philippines has been at the forefront of an aggressive anti-Kafala diplomatic campaign in the Middle East.

In its statement, the DFA noted that President Rodrigo Duterte is the first and perhaps the only head of state to openly criticize the Kafala system.

“Not only did the Philippines speak against Kafala in the United Nations and in every possible international forum; we walked the talk by partnering with the prominent Kingdom of Bahrain in their labor reforms. We supported Bahrain’s Flexi Visa system that allows migrant workers to become freelancers and to be free of sponsors,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.

Arriola hoped these major changes will soon cascade to more countries in the Middle East, where millions of Filipino workers are employed.

Kafala originated from the Arabic word which means “sponsorship”. The system is a mechanism in the Gulf countries used to monitor migrant workers, usually unskilled workers such as household service workers, construction workers through a sponsor.

Sponsors are usually the employer, who is responsible for the immigration status and visa of the migrant worker.

“Under the Kafala, a worker cannot leave the employer despite abuse/maltreatment or transfer to another employer for better working conditions, without the consent of the present employer-sponsor. Critics thus note that a worker is treated like a property of the employer under the Kafala system,” the DFA explained.

The Philippines is one of the leading countries to push for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), a primary UN process to protect migrant workers against all forms of exploitation and abuse, and guarantee decent work.

This is also consistent with President Duterte’s position that “the Filipino is no slave to anyone anywhere and everywhere.” (PNA)

Siargao To Reopen To Tourists Nov. 23

The Philippines' surfing capital, Siargao Island, is reopening its shores to domestic tourists starting November 23!

Leyte Gov’t To Launch Hydroponics Farming

To help farmers maximize limited space in cultivated high-value crops, the provincial government of Leyte will launch a hydroponics farming project.

No Voter Registration On Nov. 30, Dec. 8

There will be no voter registration on November 30 and December 8 due to the holidays.

Heart Evangelista Becomes One Of The Top 10 Luxury Influencers In The World

Heart Evangelista placed 10th on Forbes France’s “Top 10 Luxury Influencers” in the world!

RCEF-Seed Program Continues To Help Typhoon-Affected Farmers

More than 100,000 rice farmers from Region 2 and CAR who were affected by the onslaught of the successive typhoons will benefit from the RCEF-Seed Program of the Department of Agriculture.

Angkas To Resume Ops After Completing Requirements: DOTr

Angkas and its motorcycle (MC) taxis will soon make a comeback in Metro Manila!

realme Marks Down realme X3 SuperZoom, realme 7 For #realmeWithYou Christmas Special

realme PH is making this Christmas merrier as it brings about yet another round of exciting deals for its fans and supporters this holiday season!

Visayas State U Sets ‘Wellness’ Week For Students, Faculty

Do you think other universities should also have a “wellness” week?

Globe Named As One Of Top 30 ‘Global Rising Star’ Telcos In The World

Globe was recently named as one of the Global Rising Stars at the Opensignal Global Mobile Network Experience Awards 2020!

DOLE Orders Release Of Deferred Holiday Pay For Private Workers

May holiday pay ka pa bang hindi pa binibigay?