Saturday, March 21, 2015

2 Year Ban in Saudi for Exiting Filipinos

Before, the only problem overseas Filipino workers in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia faces was the maltreatment of employers and delayed or low salary. Now, they have another thing to worry about.

A 2-year ban on expatriates was proposed which will also affect OFWs leaving KSA with a final exit visa.  The said proposal will only allow expatriates with final exit visa to return to the kingdom two years after they exited.

This action is in coordination with the kingdom’s Saudization program, creating more job opportunities to Saudi nationals rather than employing expatriates, with OFWs most of the time.

But OFWs protest to this proposal because for them, it is against the Saudi and Philippine government’s labor agreement.  If ever the idea will push through, OFWs deployment will be affected and more Filipinos will add to the number of unemployed individuals.  This will also affect the Philippine’s economy since OFWs remittances are of great help for the country.

Filipino migrant worker-supporting groups also emphasized that most OFWs were forced to leave KSA on final exit visas because of their labor disputes which is mainly matters regarding their salary, humane injustice and breach of contract they’ve signed before leaving the Philippines.

The 2-year ban for expatriates leaving KSA with final exit visas was proposed by the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) labor market committee, which reviewed the kingdom’s Saudization program.

The recommendation which will greatly affect OFWs was patterned to the same measure taken by Oman, Saudi’s neighbouring Gulf country.

Oman imposes a two-year visa ban on expatriates who leave their jobs because of labor arguments.  But they can return to Oman on a tourist, family joining, and visitor or investor visa.

OFWs are concerned that if ever the proposed two-year ban on expatriates were imposed, most Filipinos who work in KSA will suffer unemployment with their final exit visa. They call on to the government to settle the issue with the Saudi government so that OFWs will not endure in the end.